Navigation Links
'A-maize-ing' discovery could lead to higher corn yields for food, feed and fuel
Date:3/25/2010

Pittsburgh, PA -- Scientists may have made an "a-maize-ing" discovery that could lead to higher corn yields in the United States. In a new research report published in the March 2010 issue of the journal Genetics (http://www.genetics.org), scientists used tropical maize from Mexico and Thailand to discover chromosome regions responsible for detecting seasonal changes in flowering time (called the "photoperiod response"). This discovery may lead to higher crop yields, improved disease resistance, and heartier plants able to withstand severe weather. As one of the United States' largest crops, corn is used for food, feed, sweetener, fuel, plastics, and more.

"Photoperiod response is the major barrier to using tropical maize for the improvement of temperate maize varieties," said James B. Holland, Ph.D, a researcher involved in the work from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Plant Science Research Unit at North Carolina State University. "By understanding the genetics of this barrier, we hope to be able to overcome it more quickly to broaden the genetic diversity of temperate maize."

To discover these important regions of the plant's genome, researchers interbred two tropical, photoperiod-sensitive corn lines (one from Mexico; one from Thailand) with two photoperiod-insensitive corn lines from the United States, and grew out hundreds of progeny lines in North Carolina (long day-length summers) and in Florida (short day-length winters). Lines with strong photoperiod response were identified as those flowering much later in North Carolina, compared to Florida. Researchers then genetically mapped all of the lines and identified DNA markers associated with the photoperiod response. The genomic regions carrying the major photoperiod response genes were then identified.

In addition to allowing for improved strains of domestic corn, the research also is important because it suggests that the genes controlling the photoperiod response in corn are at least partly distinct than those believed to control photoperiod response in model plant species such as Arabidopsis (Mustard Weed) and rice. Future studies to pinpoint specific genes involved in the photoperiod response, however, will be necessary to draw definitive conclusions. The results of these future studies should lead to a better understanding of the extent of shared genetic pathways among distinct plant species and provide insights into how such pathways evolve. Ultimately this knowledge could have significant implications for agricultural species around the world.

"Corn is obviously an important crop, and geneticists and plant breeders are always looking for ways to improve it," said Mark Johnston, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Genetics. "This research may help us coax even more production out of this 'a-maize-ing' plant."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tracey DePellegrin-Connelly
td2p@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-1812
Genetics Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. African bird discovery proves there is something new under the sun
2. Discovery in legumes could reduce fertilizer use, aid environment: Stanford researchers
3. Startup joins UCLA tech incubator to develop technologies for drug discovery, screening
4. An electrifying discovery: New material to harvest electricity from body movements
5. New gene discovery could help to prevent blindness
6. First discovery of the female sex hormone progesterone in a plant
7. Enlisting a drug discovery technique in the battle against global warming
8. TGen becomes center of excellence for Horizon Discoverys GENESIS and X-MAN technology
9. Gene function discovery: Guilt by association
10. Discovery of algaes toxic hunting habits could help curb fish kills
11. From biological basics to diabetes discovery
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/16/2016)... , Dec. 16, 2016   IdentyTechSolutions ... Identity management products and solutions and a cutting-edge ... today that it is offering seamless, integrated solutions ... security entrance products. The solutions provide IdentyTech,s customers ... secure their facilities from crime and theft. ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 15, 2016   WaferGen Bio-systems, ... held genomics technology company, announced today that on December ... Qualifications Department of The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC which ... bid price of WaferGen,s common stock had been at ... WaferGen has regained compliance with Listing Rule 5550(a)(2) of ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 14, 2016 "Increase in mobile ... market" The mobile biometrics market is expected to grow ... billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 29.3% between ... such as the growing demand for smart devices, government ... "Software component is expected to grow at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/23/2017)... Resverlogix Corp. ("Resverlogix" or the "Company") (TSX: RVX) today ... based Phase 1 trial with severe kidney ... reducing inflamed protein biomarkers in patients with severe kidney ... this is the first time in medical history that ... between epigenetic regulation and its potential for positive disease ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... CallTower is proud to announce ... of the Year Award winner for 2017. , For three consecutive years, CallTower ... In 2016, CallTower was awarded with the hosted VoIP Excellence award and in 2015, ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... -- Bioptix, Inc. (Nasdaq: BIOP ... 14, 2017 the Board of Directors of the Company ... certain employees associated with the September 2016 acquisition of ... on January 16, 2017 and terminations are expected to ... severance benefits in certain circumstances of up to one ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , Jan. 20, 2017 Ginkgo Bioworks, ... Gen9, a pioneer in the synthesis and assembly ... expertise in assembling pathway-length synthetic DNA into Ginkgo,s ... capacity in the construction of new organism designs ... "Gen9 was founded to significantly increase ...
Breaking Biology Technology: