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How Do Scientists Know Which Corn Varieties Are Worth Developing?

The universe of plant genetics is vast. Global seed banks are working to preserve and protect millions of varieties of crops, and with them a massive amount of genetic information.

So, how do plant researchers know which varieties hold enough potential to pursue developing? In the past, scientists would have to grow varieties and observe all the factors that go into making a successful crop. However, today, researchers use data analytics and genomics to significantly accelerate the process. Jianming Yu, a professor of agronomy at Iowa State University and the Pioneer Distinguished Chair in Maize Breeding, is working to ‘turbo charge’ the mountains of genetic material found in the world’s seed banks, with his latest work in predicting traits in corn.

Click through to read more about Professor Yu’s study focused on predicting eight corn traits based on the apical meristem (SAM) - a microscopic stem cell responsible for all above-ground organs of the plant.

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