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corn in Biological News

Restoring a natural root signal helps to fight a major corn pest

A longstanding and fruitful collaboration between researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and the University of Neuchtel in Switzerland, together with contributions from colleagues in Munich and the US, has produced another first: the successful manipulation of a crop plant to...

Experts lay to rest long-held misconceptions about high fructose corn syrup at ILSI-USDA workshop

WASHINGTON, DC A supplement to be published in the June issue of the Journal of Nutrition encourages the scientific community and the general public to stop demonizing high fructose corn syrup as the culprit of obesity and to rethink the myths about high fructose corn syrup's impact on the Amer...

New research reveals the earliest evidence for corn in the New World

Among the hundreds of plants that have been domesticated in the New World, none has received as much attention or been subject to as much debate as corn, or maize (Zea mays L.), arguably the most important crop of the Americas. Controversies have existed for years over what the wild ancestor of ma...

Doubling a gene in corn results in giant biomass

University of Illinois plant geneticist Stephen Moose has developed a corn plant with enormous potential for biomass, literally. It yields corn that would make good silage, Moose said, due to a greater number of leaves and larger stalk, which could also make it a good energy crop. The gene know...

Historical increase in corn yield -- it's in the roots

Madison, WI, March 16, 2009 -- One of the most significant developments in agricultural growth in modern times has been the continuous and substantial increase in corn yield over the past 80 years in the U.S. Corn Belt. This extraordinary yield advance has been associated with both breeding of...

Pure fructose frequently confused with high fructose corn syrup

WASHINGTON, DC As researchers continue to examine the role of sweeteners in the diet, it's important that people understand the differences among various ingredients used in scientific studies, according to the Corn Refiners Association (CRA). Interchanging two distinctly different ingredients,...

Doubling a gene in corn results in giant biomass

University of Illinois plant geneticist Stephen Moose has developed a corn plant with enormous potential for biomass, literally. It yields corn that would make good silage, Moose said, due to a greater number of leaves and larger stalk, which could also make it a good energy crop. The gene know...

Purdue study suggests warmer temperatures could lead to a boom in corn pests

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Climate change could provide the warmer weather pests prefer, leading to an increase in populations that feed on corn and other crops, according to a new study. Warmer growing season temperatures and milder winters could allow some of these insects to expand their territo...

Replacing corn with perennial grasses improves carbon footprint of biofuels

Converting forests or fields to biofuel crops can increase or decrease greenhouse gas emissions, depending on where and which biofuel crops are used, University of Illinois researchers report this month. The researchers analyzed data from dozens of studies to determine how planting new biofue...

Giant grass offers clues to growing corn in cooler climes, researchers report

A giant perennial grass used as a biofuels source has a much longer growing season than corn, and researchers think they've found the secret of its success. Their findings offer a promising avenue for developing cold-tolerant corn, an advance that would significantly boost per-acre yields. The ...

Iowa Corn Promotion Board, NJIT to license breakthrough, safe bio-plastic alternative

The Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB), NJIT and University of Sao Paulo today announced a joint agreement for licensing four pending patents on a safe, building block chemical derived from corn known as isosorbide to chemists. The agreement marks a step forward in developing applications and marke...

Miscanthus can meet US biofuels goal using less land than corn or switchgrass

In the largest field trial of its kind in the United States, researchers have determined that the giant perennial grass Miscanthus x giganteus outperforms current biofuels sources by a lot. Using Miscanthus as a feedstock for ethanol production in the U.S. could significantly reduce the acreage d...

Cow stomach holds key to turning corn into biofuel

An enzyme from a microbe that lives inside a cows stomach is the key to turning corn plants into fuel, according to Michigan State University scientists. The enzyme that allows a cow to digest grasses and other plant fibers can be used to turn other plant fibers into simple sugars. These simple...

Defining gene's role may lead to prevention of dangerous corn toxin

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Discovery that a specific gene is integral to both fungal invasion of corn and development of a potentially deadly toxin in the kernels may lead to ways to control the pathogen and the poison. Purdue University researchers evaluated the fungal gene ZFR1 and found that it ...

All eyes and ears on the corn genome

A consortium of researchers led by the Genome Sequencing Center (GSC) at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., announced today the completion of a draft sequence of the corn genome. In the fall of 2005 the NSF, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department...

Washington University unveils draft sequence of corn genome

Feb. 25, 2008 -- A team of scientists led by Washington University in St. Louis has begun to unlock the genetic secrets of corn, a crop vital to U.S. agriculture. The researchers have completed a working draft of the corn genome, an accomplishment that should accelerate efforts to develop better c...

Iowa State researchers help piece together the corn genome's first draft

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 ...

New way to produce high-vitamin corn could improve nutrition in developing countries

Scientists have developed a potentially powerful new tool in the fight against deficiencies in dietary vitamin A, which cause eye diseases, including blindness, in 40 million children annually, and increased health risks for about 250 million people, mostly in developing countries. This tool c...

If corn is biofuels king, tropical maize may be emperor

When University of Illinois crop scientist Fred Below began growing tropical maize, the form of corn grown in the tropics, he was looking for novel genes for the utilization of nitrogen fertilizer and was hoping to discover information that could be useful to American corn producers. Now, howe...

Increase in ethanol production from corn could significantly impact

WASHINGTON -- If projected increases in the use of corn for ethanol production occur, the harm to water quality could be considerable, and water supply problems at the regional and local levels could also arise, says a new report from the National Research Council. The committee that wrote the re...

Genetically engineered corn may harm stream ecosystems

A new study indicates that a popular type of genetically engineered corn--called Bt corn--may damage the ecology of streams draining Bt corn fields in ways that have not been previously considered by regulators. The study, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in the Oct. 8 ...

Study shows genetically engineered corn could affect aquatic ecosystems

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A study by an Indiana University environmental science professor and several colleagues suggests a widely planted variety of genetically engineered corn has the potential to harm aquatic ecosystems. The study is being published online this week by the journal Proceedings of t...

The 5 Ws of corn production

MADISON, WI, AUGUST 31, 2007- As of late, many uncertainties have been sprouting up in corn production. Researchers and producers have been wondering if precision agricultural technologies can improve crop yield and quality or reduce their variability. Farmers have been asking a number of question...

Preventing soil erosion in continuous corn

MADISON, WI, JANUARY 12, 2009 - With recent increase in the cost of energy and subsequent explorations into alternative energy sources, the increased harvest of corn residue for cellulosic ethanol production is likely in the future. This may be especially true in fields where corn is grown continu...

Researchers find an essential gene for forming ears of corn

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) professor David Jackson, Ph.D., and a team of plant geneticists have identified a gene essential in controlling development of the maize plant, commonly known in the United States as corn. The new research extends the growing biological understanding of how the...

Key discovered to cold tolerance in corn

Demand for corn -- the world's number one feed grain and a staple food for many -- is outstripping supply, resulting in large price increases that are forecast to continue over the next several years. If corn's intolerance of low temperatures could be overcome, then the length of the growing seas...

AgriLife Research breeder develops drought-tolerant corn

ETTER At the end of the day, drought tolerance in corn has to equate to good yields and good quality, not just good looks, said a Texas AgriLife Research scientist. Dr. Wenwei Xu, AgriLife Research corn breeder from Lubbock, is working with crosses between temperate and tropically adapted vari...

Fuel from fiber -- Pretreatment can put corn stalks, trees in your car's tank

"Put a tree in your tank." Fuel companies aren't touting that slogan. At least not yet. But thanks to research done in part by Bruce Dale, Michigan State University professor of chemical engineering and materials science, making fuels from poplar trees and corn stalks is becoming more efficient a...

Scientists map air pollution using corn grown in US fields

Scientists at UC Irvine have mapped fossil fuel air pollution in the United States by analyzing corn collected from nearly 70 locations nationwide. This novel way to measure carbon dioxide produced by burning coal, oil and natural gas will help atmospheric scientists better understand where pol...

Iowa State researchers improving plastics made from corn and soy proteins

David Grewell picked up the little plastic model of a molecule he keeps in his office. He scrunched the model's folding pieces into a ball. That's about the shape of a soy or corn protein, said Grewell, an Iowa State University assistant professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering. Then he...

The genetic origins of corn on the cob

In 1909, while harvesting a typical corn crop (Zea mays) in Illinois, a field worker noticed a plant so unusual that it was initially believed to be a new species. Its "peculiarly shaped ear" was "laid aside as a curiosity" and the specimen was designated Zea ramosa (from the Latin ramosus, "having...

Understanding how weeds are resistant to herbicides

...mp and we can do this with another weed and we can compare the two are there things that these two weeds have in common that make it different from a corn plant or a soybean plant which explains why it's weedy? This is sort of a first step in that direction starting to generate the type of information t...

Bioethanol's impact on water supply 3 times higher than once thought

... water requirements can be as high as 861 billion gallons of water from the corn field to the fuel pump in 2007. And a gallon of ethanol may require up to o...egional irrigation practice in growing corn. However, a dozen states in the corn Belt consume less than 100 gallons of water per gallon of ethanol, making t...

Stunting plants' skyward reach could lead to improved yields

... EAST LANSING, Mich. In the forest's fight for survival, it's the tallest trees that prevail by reaching for sunlight and shading competition. corn and other plants, too, divert precious energy to grow higher when nearby plants start to encroach. Michigan State University plant scientist Berond...

Corn yield stability varies with rotations, fertility

...gated the effects of long-term cropping systems on corn grain yields, yield trends, and yield stability ov...productive Central Pennsylvania soil, the yield of corn rotated with alfalfa, red clover, and timothy is modestly higher and less variable than corn grown exclusively. Further, when dairy manure is a...

Herbicide diversity needed to keep Roundup effective

... the herbicides they use. Using a variety of herbicides in addition to Roundup before planting and alternating between Roundup and other herbicides in corn can significantly reduce marestail. Fields that had three resistant weeds for every susceptible weed while using only Roundup and Roundup Ready cro...

Recent news reports of sweetener reformulations raise questions about motivations

...d other brands that they will remove high fructose corn syrup from certain products are being called into ... little material difference" between high fructose corn syrup and other caloric sweeteners. She added "Th... are nutritional differences between high fructose corn syrup and sugar, when in fact they are nutritional...

Study of agricultural watersheds and carbon losses

...cle. This is particularly important in the eastern corn belt where tile drainage dominates the agricultura...ents included a restored prairie grass, continuous corn rotations and cornsoybean rotations fertilized at three nitrogen rates, and continuous corn rotations fertilized with lagooned swine effluent ...

GEN reports on alternative feedstocks for ethanol production

...icantly lower this number." Edenspace Systems is working on Energy Corn, a feedstock designed to cut the cost of producing cellulosic biofuels from corn stover. The company's technology platform, based on identifying promising cellulose genes, transforming crop plants with candidate genes, and evaluati...

Study highlights massive imbalances in global fertilizer use

...iques have increased yields. Statistics show that from 2003 to 2005, annual corn yields in parts of the Midwestern United States and north China were almost...ortage," he recalled. "Then the government began subsidizing fertilizer and corn seeds. In just four years production tripled, and Malawi actually became an...
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