Mutant Corn Might Promote Increased Yield

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., June 7 (UPI) — U.S. biologists say they have determined mutant corn has independent genetic pathways used to regulate and export sugars that might help increase yield.

Pennsylvania State University researchers say they’ve identified new genes in corn that promote carbohydrate export from leaves. They said the genes — called psychedelic genes because of the yellow and green streaks they cause in the plant’s leaves — can be manipulated to increase crop yields and the amount of biofuel that can be derived from each plant.

“This study shows that there is still a lot to learn about genes that control carbohydrate distribution in plants,” said Associate Professor David Braun, who led the study. “By learning how these genes work, I hope we’ll be able to improve plant growth and crop yield to solve some of the serious challenges concerning sustainable food and fuel production.”

The research is reported in the May issue of the journal Genetics.

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