Current Maize News and Events

Current Maize News and Events, Maize News Articles.
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Tweaking corn kernels with CRISPR
Corn has a highly complex genome, making it a challenge to apply genome-editing techniques to it. CSHL Professor David Jackson and postdoctoral fellow Lei Liu used CRISPR to tinker with the corn genome promoter regions and modify stem cell growth. They figured out which sections influence kernel yield, and they hope to make targeted genome-editing in corn more precise and efficient. (2021-02-22)

Wolves, dogs and dingoes, oh my
Dogs are generally considered the first domesticated animal, while its ancestor is generally considered to be the wolf, but where the Australian dingo fits into this framework is still debated, according to a retired Penn State anthropologist. (2021-02-17)

Ancient Amazonian farmers fortified valuable land they had spent years making fertile to protect it
Ancient Amazonian communities fortified valuable land they had spent years making fertile to protect it from conflict, excavations show. (2021-02-09)

Bioplastics in the sustainability dilemma
Scientists at the University of Bonn (Germany) found that the sustainability of plant-based bioplastics depends largely on the country of origin, its trade relationships and the raw material processed. (2021-02-05)

Human-elephant conflict in Kenya heightens with increase in crop-raiding
A new study led by the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) has found that elephants living around the world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, are crop-raiding closer to the protected area, more frequently and throughout the year but are causing less damage when doing so. (2021-02-04)

CABI study updates safer options for fall armyworm control in Africa
CABI scientists have updated the first major study of potential biological controls that could be used in the fight against the devastating fall armyworm in Africa. The research offers new insight into evidence of their efficacy in the field and increased availability as commercial products. (2021-02-03)

Food export restrictions by a few countries could skyrocket global food crop prices
Recent events such as the Covid-19 pandemic, locust infestations, drought and labour shortages have disrupted food supply chains, endangering food security in the process. A recent study published in Nature Food shows that trade restrictions and stockpiling of supplies by a few key countries could create global food price spikes and severe local food shortages during times of threat. (2021-01-28)

Early breeding reduced harmful mutations in sorghum
A new Cornell University study found that harmful mutations in sorghum landraces - early domesticated crops - decreased compared to their wild relatives through the course of domestication and breeding. (2021-01-20)

Beating the 'billion-dollar bug' is a shared burden
A new study linking land use patterns and pest outbreaks in Bt maize suggests that slowing the resurgence of western corn rootworm may require a larger-scale strategy than previously thought. (2021-01-12)

Possible explanation for more efficient maize growth
Plant researchers at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) have investigated the transport of compounds in maize. They focused on the mechanism used to transport the products of photosynthesis for further distribution in the plant through its phloem loading pathways. In the current edition of the journal ''The Plant Cell'', they describe how this mechanism has potentially created a special evolutionary advantage for maize. (2021-01-08)

Energy sorghum may combine best of annual, perennial bioenergy crops
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (CABBI) found that energy sorghum, an annual crop, behaves more like the perennial grass miscanthus in the way it efficiently captures light and uses water to produce abundant biomass. The findings highlight energy sorghum's potential as a sustainable bioenergy crop and provide critical data for biogeochemical and ecological models used to forecast crop growth, productivity, and sustainability. (2021-01-07)

Kernels of history
Earlier this year Douglas J. Kennett, a UC Santa Barbara professor of anthropology, demonstrated that maize, or corn, became a staple crop in the Americas 4,700 years ago. It turns out he was just beginning to tell the story of the world's biggest grain crop. (2020-12-15)

Ancient DNA continues to rewrite corn's 9,000-year society-shaping history
In the Dec. 14 issue of the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, international team of scientists report the fully sequenced genomes of three roughly 2,000-year-old cobs from the El Gigante rock shelter in Honduras. Analysis of the three genomes reveals that these millennia-old varieties of Central American corn had South American ancestry and adds a new chapter in an emerging complex story of corn's domestication history. (2020-12-14)

Secrets of the 'lost crops' revealed where bison roam
Blame it on the bison. If not for the wooly, boulder-sized beasts that once roamed North America in vast herds, ancient people might have looked past the little barley that grew under those thundering hooves. But the people soon came to rely on little barley and other small-seeded native plants as staple food. (2020-11-24)

Making sense of a universe of corn genetics
A new study details the latest efforts to predict traits in corn based on genomics and data analytics. The data management technique could help to ''turbo charge'' the seemingly endless amount of genetic stocks contained in the world's seed banks, leading to faster and more efficient development of new crop varieties. (2020-11-23)

X-ray imaging of a beetle's world in ancient earthenware
Using X-rays, Professor Hiroki Obata of Kumamoto University, Japan has imaged 28 impressions of maize weevils on pottery shards from the late Jomon period (around 3,600 years ago) excavated from the Yakushoden site in Miyazaki Prefecture. This is the first example of pottery with multiple weevil impressions discovered in Kyushu, and the density of impressions is the highest ever found in Japan. (2020-11-17)

Better than money? In-kind payments incentivize farmers to conserve agrobiodiversity
An innovative payment scheme for ecosystem services successfully encouraged farmers to cultivate and conserve agrobiodiversity, according to a new study of eight years of implementation in Latin America (2020-11-16)

C4 rice's first wobbly steps towards reality
An international long-term research collaboration aimed at creating high yielding and water use efficient rice varieties, has successfully installed part of the photosynthetic machinery from maize into rice. (2020-11-12)

Climate-adapted plant breeding
Securing plant production is a global task. Using a combination of new molecular and statistical methods, a research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) was able to show that material from gene banks can be used to improve traits in the maize plant. Old varieties can thus help to breed new varieties adapted to current and future climates. (2020-11-11)

Aerial images detect and track food security threats for millions of African farmers
New research shows how a combination of imagery from mobile phones, drones and satellites can be used to clamp down on banana threats. The images of varying resolutions are fed into a platform 'trained' through machine learning to identify banana crops and analyze threats with 97% overall accuracy. (2020-10-22)

IPK scientists discover gene that ensures slim inflorescence shape of barley
The inflorescences of grasses often have very different shapes. An international research team led by IPK has now succeeded in identifying a gene that plays a decisive role in ensuring that barley develops its characteristic slender inflorescences, called spikes. Compared to other grasses, the COMPOSITUM1 (COM1) gene has acquired a new function during grass evolution. The results have today been published in Nature Communications magazine. (2020-10-12)

Can organic plant protection products damage crops?
Protecting crops against pests and diseases is essential to ensure a secure food supply. Around 95 percent of food comes from conventional agriculture, which uses chemical pesticides to keep crops healthy. Increasingly, organic pesticides are sought as an alternative. Some organic pesticides contain live spores of the fungus Trichoderma to suppress other pathogens. Researchers at Göttingen University found one Trichoderma species can cause severe rot in cobs of maize (corn). Results were published in Frontiers in Agronomy. (2020-09-30)

Researchers find new way to protect plants from fungal infection
Widespread fungal disease in plants can be controlled with a commercially available chemical that has been primarily used in medicine until now. This discovery was made by scientists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the University of the State of Paraná in Brazil. In a comprehensive experiment the team has uncovered a new metabolic pathway that can be disrupted with this chemical, thus preventing many known plant fungi from invading the host plant. (2020-09-22)

Massive-scale genomic study reveals wheat diversity for crop improvement
Researchers have genetically characterized almost 80,000 samples of wheat from public germplasm banks, ''a massive-scale genotyping and diversity analysis'' of the two types of wheat grown globally -- bread and pasta wheat -- and of 27 known wild species. The results show distinct biological groupings within bread wheats and suggest that a large proportion of the genetic diversity present in landraces has not been used to develop new high-yielding, resilient and nutritious varieties. (2020-09-11)

To recreate ancient recipes, check out the vestiges of clay pots
UC Berkeley archaeologists have discovered that unglazed ceramic cookware can retain the residue of not just the last supper cooked, but earlier meals as well, opening a window onto gastronomic practices possibly going back millennia. (2020-09-11)

Malnutrition among a hunter-gatherer group
The diets of hunter-gatherers are changing at a fast pace, as in the contemporary world, they are increasingly being deprived of their access to land and natural resources and urged to adapt to sedentary lifestyle. An interdisciplinary study from the University of Helsinki brings forth the underlying causes of food and nutrition insecurity among a San group in Namibia. (2020-09-09)

Unmanned aerial vehicles help wheat breeders
Usually, breeders pick the best wheat lines by hand, but unmanned aerial vehicles that record certain measures of plant health can help breeders select wheat lines more efficiently. (2020-09-03)

Archaeology: Ceramic cooking pots record history of ancient food practices
Analysing three components of ceramic cooking pots -- charred remains, inner surface residues and lipids absorbed within the ceramic walls -- may help archaeologists uncover detailed timelines of culinary cooking practices used by ancient civilizations. The findings, from a year-long cooking experiment, are published this week in Scientific Reports. (2020-08-27)

Identifying local solutions in the barotse floodplain for sustainable agriculture development
To develop locally relevant strategies that improve food security, nutrition, and conservation, researchers employed a gendered ecosystem services approach in Zambia. (2020-08-06)

European maize highlights the hidden differences within a species
Maize is one of our major staple foods and is cultivated around the world, showcasing a broad range of genetic adaptations to different environmental conditions. To date, the best understood maize line is the American dent maize line B73. Scientists have now expanded our knowledge of the maize genome through the analysis of four European flint lines. The found genetic differences between the lines illustrate the importance of looking at the pangenome of a crop, when working with its genetics. (2020-07-27)

European and American maize: Same same, but different
German researchers decoded the European maize genome. In comparison to North American maize lines, they discovered variations that underlie phenotypic differences and may also contribute to the heterosis effect. A better understanding of the effect could impact breeding for higher yields. For cultivation of maize in areas with low yields and for challenges imposed by the climate change these observations might be of particular importance. (2020-07-27)

Small-farm tech reduces deforestation, climate change
Small farms in Zambia that use the latest hybrid seed for maize, help reduce deforestation and tackle climate change in a new Cornell University study. (2020-07-23)

Site-directed mutagenesis in wheat via haploid induction by maize
Site-directed mutagenesis facilitates the experimental validation of gene function and can speed up plant breeding by producing new biodiversity or by reproducing previously known gene variants in other than their original genetic backgrounds. However, its application is challenging in wheat owing to high genomic redundancy and highly genotype-dependent DNA transfer methods. (2020-07-21)

Research underscores importance of global surveillance of plant pathogens
First spotted in the United States in 2014, bacterial leaf streak of corn is an emerging disease of corn that has now spread to ten states, including the top three corn-producing states of Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. (2020-07-17)

CRISPR enables one-step hybrid seed production in crops
Crop hybrid technologies have contributed to the significant yield improvement worldwide in the past decades. However, designing and maintaining a hybrid production line has always been complex and laborious. Now, researchers in China have developed a new system combining CRISPR-mediated genome editing with other approaches that could produce better seeds compared with conventional hybrid methods and shorten the production timeline by 5 to 10 years. The study appears July 8, 2020 in Molecular Plant. (2020-07-08)

Soy and wheat proteins helpful for building aging muscles, but not as potent as animal protein
On a gram for gram basis, animal proteins are more effective than plant proteins in supporting the maintenance of skeletal muscle mass with advancing age, shows research presented this week at The Physiological Society's virtual early career conference Future Physiology 2020. (2020-07-07)

Research reveals regulatory features of maize genome during early reproductive development
A team of researchers led by Andrea Eveland, Ph.D., assistant member, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, has mapped out the non-coding, 'functional' genome in maize during an early developmental window critical to formation of pollen-bearing tassels and grain-bearing ears. (2020-07-07)

Undergrad-led study suggests light environment modifications could maximize productivity
Crops form canopies with overlapping leaves. Typically, the sun leaves at the top of the canopy photosynthesize at maximum efficiency at high light, while shade leaves at the bottom photosynthesize at maximum efficiency at low light. However, this is not the case for maize (corn) and the bioenergy crop Miscanthus. Researchers have published a study that looked into the cause for this maladaptation and found that altered light conditions, not leaf age, were these crops' Achilles' Heel. (2020-06-24)

Study calls for reallocation of subsidies for biocontrols to fight fall armyworm
A new CABI-led study is calling for governments to reallocate subsidies to encourage the use of lower risk control options - such as biopesticides - in the fight against the devastating maize pest fall armyworm. The research suggests that the enforcement of pesticide regulations is also needed to curb the use of highly toxic and banned products such as monocrotophos, dichlorvos and methamidophos (2020-06-17)

Improved heat-resistant wheat varieties are identified
An international study, including researchers at the University of Cordoba, analyzed 54 genetically improved wheat genotypes from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in order to determine which respond best to high temperatures (2020-06-16)

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