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Iowa State researchers help piece together the corn genome's first draft
Date:2/25/2008

AMES, Iowa Iowa State University researchers helped write the first draft of the corn genome sequence that will be announced Thursday, Feb. 28, at the 50th Annual Maize Genetics Conference in Washington, D.C.

Patrick Schnable, a Baker Professor of Agronomy and director of the Center for Plant Genomics and the Center for Carbon Capturing Crops, and Srinivas Aluru, a Stanley Chair in Interdisciplinary Engineering and a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, led the work at Iowa State and provided the project with expertise in corn genomics and supercomputing. (Iowa State researchers and their U.S. Department of Agriculture collaborators also developed the B73 inbred corn line that was sequenced by the genome project. Developed decades ago, the B73 line is noted for the high grain yields it contributes to hybrids. Derivatives of B73 are still widely used to produce many commercial hybrids.)

We are proud that Iowa State University researchers have contributed to this draft sequence of the corn genome, said Gregory Geoffroy, Iowa States president. Understanding the corn genome will accelerate efforts to develop crops that can meet societys growing needs for food, feed, fiber and fuel. This project is also a wonderful example of how Iowa State researchers are able to work across disciplines to solve problems important to Iowa and the world.

The overall genome project is led by Richard Wilson, the director of the Genome Sequencing Center at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He will make a brief announcement about the sequencing project and researchers will take questions during a news conference at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, in the Hoover Room of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in downtown Washington. Wilson will also make remarks about the draft genome during a reception from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday at the Smithsonian Institutions National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall. And Wilson w
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Contact: Patrick Schnable
schnable@iastate.edu
515-294-0975
Iowa State University
Source:Eurekalert  

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