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The secret history of corn is revealed in its genome
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: August 12, 2021 04:50PM

In the 1940s, Nobel Prize-winning CSHL geneticist Barbara McClintock
discovered "jumping genes" in corn and how the plant uses them for
adaptability, shuffling the genetic deck over generations. Now, CSHL
scientists are still expanding on McClintock's work. Doreen Ware, a CSHL
adjunct professor and research scientist at the US Department of
Agriculture (USDA), and her colleagues have published the genome
sequencesof 26 corn stains in the journal/Science/, describing a large
portion of the genetic diversity found in modern corn plants, including
transposons and genesthat regulate desired crop traits.

Dr. Doreen Ware and her colleagues CSHL Professor & HHMI Investigator
Rob Martienssen and CSHL Professor W. Richard McCombie mapped the first
corn genome in 2009. They have been filling in gaps ever since. With
recent techniques, the research team charted difficult stretches of the
genome, allowing researchers to locate and study both important crop
genes and the nearby regions that regulate their use. Ware says that the
new collection reveals how the corn genome was shuffled over time:
"These genomes provide us a footprint of that life history. Different
strains have experienced different environments. For example, some came
from tropical environments, others experienced particular diseases, and
all those selective pressures leave a footprint of that history."

The secret history of corn is revealed in its genome - Cold Spring
Harbor Laboratory (

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