New initiative bridges plant breeding digital divide

ITHACA, N.Y. – Crop breeders in developing countries are facing challenges in their efforts to improve yields to feed growing populations, battle crop diseases, and counter the effects of drought, salinity and poor soils. Modern genomic tools that make breeding new varieties cheaper, faster and more efficient would help meet those challenges, but developing such […]

Maize genome ‘dark matter’ discovery a boon for breeders

ITHACA, N.Y. – For astronomers, “dark matter” is the largely hypothetical substance that accounts for approximately 85 percent of the matter in the universe. Now, plant scientists have discovered a different kind of “dark matter” in the maize genome: a tiny percentage of regulatory DNA that accounts for roughly half of the variation in observable […]

Despite challenges, corn yields look promising

CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE Sept. 26, 2013 Despite challenges, corn yields look promising Margaret Smith, professor of plant breeding and genetics at Cornell and leading corn researcher, has encouraging news regarding corn yields. Smith says: “As the corn crop in New York and throughout the country matures, estimates of this year’s grain yields are […]