A new breakthrough in the field of Genetic Analysis of Corn – Will boost the yield and help in the production of different varieties of corn.

A new revolution in the field of genetic analysis of corn genome has taken place with the scientists undertaking a detailed genetic analysis of corn genome. This breakthrough was the result of an interdisciplinary team lead by the researchers of the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS) and Cornell University. The research is funded in the United States by the National Science Foundation or NSF. This research work was the collaborative effort of the seventeen US and foreign institutions that included-

  • University of Missouri- Columbia,
  • North Carolina State University,
  • Beijing Genome Institute,
  • University of California, Davis
  • The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Mexico City, Mexico.

The team of researchers expects that this will lead to speeding up in the development of improved varieties of corn. This research study will also help in boosting up the yields of the corn and also expand the areas where the corn can be cultivated. A number of corn varieties that are resistant to pests and diseases can be produced based on this research.

The study team examined the corn’s genetic variance and diversity and made an in depth analysis of how the corn evolved and how corn known as maize among scientists continues to expand and had got adapted to various environmental changes and habitats. This analysis will also help those people who cultivate corn as source of fuel and also those who are concerned with the demand and supply needs and other aspects of the corn due to population growth.

The researchers conducted detailed genome analysis of the corn by comparing wild varieties with the traditional corn varieties that spread across the American continent with the modern improved breeding corn varieties. The study team is also able to identify the hundreds of genes and their role in the transformation of corn from wild origins to today’s cultivated or domesticated crop.

Mr. John Wingfield – Assistant Director for NSF’s Biological Sciences Directorate is of the view that that the tools and approaches generated and utilized in this project will further help the scientists in looking at genetic differences in other organisms in response to major challenges in the form of global climatic change, invasive species and human disturbances.

More than 1/3rd of worlds corn supply comes from United States with an estimated production of more than 12 million bushels worth more than $76 billion. The study results were published in the online edition of the Journal – Nature Genetics- as separate reports in its June.3rd edition.

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