Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists complete most comprehensive genetic analysis yet of corn

04.06.2012
Genetic analysis could help meet nutrition needs of growing population
An interdisciplinary team, led by researchers at Cornell University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), today published the most comprehensive analysis to date of the corn genome.

The team expects the achievement to speed up development of improved varieties of one of the world's most important agricultural commodities. The results should boost international efforts to increase yields, expand areas where corn can be cultivated and produce varieties better equipped to resist pests and disease.

Funded in the United States by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the USDA, the work was a collaborative effort by scientists at 17 U.S. and foreign institutions that include the University of Wisconsin-Madison; University of Missouri-Columbia; North Carolina State University; Beijing Genome Institute; University of California, Davis and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Mexico City, Mexico.

The study appears in two corn genome projects published in separate reports in the June 3 issue of the journal Nature Genetics.
"This work represents a major step forward and an important tool in the arsenal available to scientists and breeders for improving a vital source of nutrition," said Edward B. Knipling, administrator of USDA's Agricultural Research Service.

The analysis could also help those, who develop corn yields as a source of fuel, who manage crops in the face of changing climates and who are concerned about the diminishing supply of arable land and growing populations, he said.
"This project is a stellar example of how collaborations of scientists, here and abroad, leverage resources across multiple agencies to enable transformational research with the potential to address urgent societal needs for a bio-based economy," said John Wingfield, assistant director for NSF's Biological Sciences Directorate.

It is anticipated that the tools and approaches generated in this project will enable scientists to look at genetic differences in other organisms as they respond to global climate change, human disturbance and invasive species, Wingfield explained.

The studies' collaborators shed light on corn's genetic diversity, detail how it evolved and outline how corn--known as maize among scientists--continues to diversify as it adapts to changing climates and habitats.

One study, published in the journal led by team member, USDA-ARS and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientist Doreen Ware, examines the genetic structure and the relationships and sequential ordering of individual genes in more than 100 varieties of wild and domesticated corn.

Another study led by team member Jeff Ross-Ibarra from the University of California, Davis gives an extraordinary glimpse into how corn evolved more than 8,700 years ago from a wild grass in the lowland areas of southwestern Mexico into today's ubiquitous international commodity.

Analysis of corn genome could speed up efforts to produce varieties better equipped to resist pests and disease. Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation

The researchers compared wild varieties with traditional corn varieties from across the Americas and with modern improved breeding lines. They identified hundreds of genes that played a role in the transformation of corn from its wild origins to today's cultivated crop and show how that transition was largely achieved by ancient farmers who first domesticated it thousands of years ago.

Last year, the economic value of the U.S. corn crop was $76 billion with U.S. growers producing an estimated 12 billion bushels, more than a third of the world's supply. Corn is the largest production crop worldwide, providing food for billions of people and livestock and critical feedstock for production of biofuels.

Bobbie Mixon | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nsf.gov

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues
16.08.2017 | University of Oxford

nachricht Bergamotene - alluring and lethal for Manduca sexta
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>