Milestone in maize genomics
Rutgers researchers, with the support of the National Science Foundation, have pushed back the frontiers on the genetic nature and history one of the worlds most important crops – corn. This crop dominates agriculture in the United States, where approximately 9 billion bushels are produced annually at a value of $30 billion. Maize (or corn) is also an important dietary staple in much of the third world. Rutgers Joachim Messing and his colleagues announced this month discoveries about the inner workings of corn, its origins and evolution, with implications for breeding, genetic engineering and future genomic studies.
"This latest research, conducted with worldwide collaborations, led us to a new understanding of maize that will help enable scientists and farmers to make major improvements in one of the worlds most significant crops and gain new and important insights in plant genomic studies," said Messing, director of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. The findings are presented in three papers in the journal Genome Research and one in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Joseph Blumberg | EurekAlert!
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