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.
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.
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. Related website:
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