Biotech Updates

Rutgers Geneticists Discover How to Breed Hard-shelled Nutritious Corn Kernels

July 9, 2010

Researchers from the Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, have discovered the genetic basis of the corn kernel's sturdiness. This is a breakthrough in corn production because it will ease the harvest, storage and transport of the nutritional staple crop. The study explains how the nutritious corn breed "quality protein maize" (QPM) can be economically important and nutritious at the same time, through its protein content and the hard-shelled kernel.

"While QPM was developed in the late 1990s, scientists have not had a thorough knowledge of how kernel strength could be achieved in a rational way," said Joachim Messing, professor of molecular genetics at Rutgers. "Our work contributes knowledge that will help other scientists develop better hybrids going forward, either through traditional breeding techniques or genetic engineering."

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