Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Unique Gene Combinations Control Tropical Maize Response to Day Lengths

Tropical maize is a valuable genetic resource that can help scientists identify the specific genes controlling daylight response.

Tropical maize proves to be a valuable genetic resource, containing genetics not found in USA Corn Belt maize. Most tropical maize varieties respond to the long summer day lengths that occur in U.S. growing regions by flowering late. This delayed flowering response results in poor yields, effectively trapping the useful genes and hindering their incorporation into maize hybrids adapted to the most productive corn growing regions.

Scientists from the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service and North Carolina State University identified four regions of the maize genome that control much of the photoperiod response in maize. A diverse sample of maize lines bred in Mexico and Thailand were crossed into a standard Corn Belt maize line. Results of this study were reported in the May – June issue of Crop Science, the scientific journal published by the Crop Science Society of America.

For each key day length response region, the researchers compared the effects of moving the genes from a tropical variety into a Corn Belt variety. Even at a single genome region, the effects of tropical genes differed, depending on which tropical variety they were bred from. In the most extreme case, the scientists discovered that genes from tropical varieties did not have uniform effects on delayed flowering at the genome region. One of the tropical varieties carried genes that made plants flower earlier than the standard Corn Belt variety.

James Holland, who conducted the study, stated: “We were pleased to validate the effects of these four day length response gene regions that we had identified in previous independent studies. However, we were surprised to discover that some tropical lines carry early flowering genes at our most important day length genome region. Our results highlight the amazing genetic variation that exists in both tropical and temperate maize.”

This research supports findings of other scientists about the genomic position of key day length response genes and reveals unexpected diversity in their effects on flowering. Ongoing research is focused on identifying the specific genes controlling day length response that exist in these regions.

The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at

Crop Science is the flagship journal of the Crop Science Society of America. Original research is peer-reviewed and published in this highly cited journal. It also contains invited review and interpretation articles and perspectives that offer insight and commentary on recent advances in crop science. For more information, visit

The Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), founded in 1955, is an international scientific society comprised of 6,000+ members with its headquarters in Madison, WI. Members advance the discipline of crop science by acquiring and disseminating information about crop breeding and genetics; crop physiology; crop ecology, management, and quality; seed physiology, production, and technology; turfgrass science; forage and grazinglands; genomics, molecular genetics, and biotechnology; and biomedical and enhanced plants.

CSSA fosters the transfer of knowledge through an array of programs and services, including publications, meetings, career services, and science policy initiatives.

Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>