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Crop Biotech Update

One Corn Gene Provides Resistance to Multiple Diseases

May 6, 2011

In a study of 300 diverse maize varieties from across the globe, University of Delaware's (UD) Dr. Randy Wisser, leader of a research team with other scientists from UD, Cornell University, and Kansas State University found evidence that resistance to Southern leaf blight, gray leaf spot, and Northern leaf blight is governed by one gene, which is a member of the gene family for glutathione-S-transferase.

The three fungal diseases are caused by ‘nectotrophic' fungi or fungi that kill what they eat and have been wreaking havoc in the whole United States resulting to heavy losses in corn crops. The fungal diseases may also affect other corn growing countries of the world. This study will therefore be useful in developing strategies to resist the three diseases.

See the original news at http://news.ncsu.edu/releases/mkbalintkurtipnas/. The abstract can be viewed at  http://www.pnas.org/content/108/18/7339, and the full paper can be downloaded at http://www.pnas.org/content/108/18/7339.full.pdf+html.