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Detailed New Maize Reference Genome Shows Its Deep Resources for Continued Adaptation
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: June 20, 2017 07:05AM

Doreen Ware of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) and the U.S. Department
of Agriculture, led scientists from seven academic institutions and several
genome technology companies in the project that produced a much more
detailed reference
[] genome
load/biotech-crop-annual-update-maize-2016.pdf> maize, or corn. According to
Ware, the new genome for maize shows the plant's flexibility, which explains
why maize has been successful since its adaptation thousands of years ago.
It also provides insights on the plant's ability to thrive in new places as
the planet's
[] climate
changes, and for increasing its productivity and environmental
sustainability in the U.S. and abroad.

The maize genome is large, but its size is not responsible for its
"phenotypic plasticity," the potential range in its ability to adapt. Ware
explains that, in trying to determine the possibilities for a plant when
adapting to new or changing conditions, the genes that are activated-or
silenced-determines what the total set of
[] genes
enables a plant to do. The research group assembled a highly accurate and
very detailed reference genome for an important maize line called B73, and
compared it with genome maps for maize individuals from two other lines (W22
and Ki11), grown in different climates. The team arrived at an astonishing
realization: maize individuals are much, much less alike at the level of the
genome than people are. This difference among maize individuals reflects the
changes in the sequence of the genes themselves, where and when they are
expressed, and at what levels, explains Yinping Jiao, a postdoctoral
researcher in the Ware lab and first author of the paper announcing the new


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