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University in the US unlocks corn genome

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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.
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The researchers have completed a working draft of the corn genome, an accomplishment that should accelerate efforts to develop better crop varieties to meet society's growing demands for food, livestock feed and fuel. "Scientists now will be able to accurately and efficiently probe the corn genome to find ways to improve breeding and subsequently increase crop yields and resistance to drought and disease" according to project leader Richard K. Wilson.

The $29.5 million project was initiated in 2005 and is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The genetic blueprint was announced on Thursday, Feb. 28, by Richard K. Wilson, director of Washington University's Genome Sequencing Center, at the 50th Annual Maize Genetics Conference in Washington, D.C.

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by Editor AllAboutFeed last update:6 Aug 2012

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