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Unraveling complex genetic traits in corn

August 10, 2009

There's no silver bullet gene or gene region that controls so-called complex traits in maize, commonly known as corn. Instead, in two research papers published in the journal Science, North Carolina State University crop scientists and colleagues show that lots of small changes in a number of gene regions affect complex traits - like flowering time or reproductive ability - in corn. Finding out more about the mechanisms behind complex traits like flowering time - as well as even more difficult-to-map traits like yield or drought tolerance, for example - has the potential to help plant breeders build the best traits into tomorrow's corn plants, says Dr. Jim Holland, NC State professor of crop science, research geneticist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS) and one of the lead authors of the Science papers.

Read more in an NC State News Services press release

Posted by Dave at August 10, 2009 08:11 AM