Biotech Updates

Scientists Unravel Mysteries of DNA Replication in Corn

September 27, 2017

Plant biologist William Thompson and his colleagues at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) has described the process that corn uses to unravel and replicate small segments of its chromosomes at different times in the August issue of The Plant Cell.

Thompson said that DNA replication has been well characterized in animal cells, but little is known about the replication timing programs in plant cells. A single nucleus from a single cell of a corn plant typically contains two sets of chromosomes, each containing over 2 billion base pairs of DNA and over 30,000 genes. As DNA cannot be replicated in a compact state, higher organisms have evolved sophisticated programs, called replication timing programs, to unravel and replicate small segments of their chromosomes at different times. The researchers found that the replication program in corn differs in several important ways from those of animals and yeast.

For more, read the NC State News.