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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BREEDING HIGH-QUALITY CORN FOR LOW-INPUT AND ORGANIC FARMING SYSTEMS

Location: Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research

Project Number: 3625-21000-056-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: May 14, 2008
End Date: May 13, 2013

Objective:
Develop maize germplasm for low-input and organic farming systems.

Approach:
Organic farmers need germplasm that is not receptive to transgenic pollen from their neighbors as out-crossing risk is causing them to plant late, leading to reduced yields and profitability. Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) markers will be applied in the context of an existing traditional breeding project using backcrossing to develop breeding materials homozygous for the genes Ga1-s (a gene that makes the lines non-recipient to foreign pollen), and Tcb1 and its positive modifier genes (another gene that makes the lines non-recipient to foreign pollen). We will determine the effect of combining different genetic mechanisms for producing corn with high levels of the essential amino acid methionine. Methionine is very important for organic poultry production in light of impending bans on the use of synthetic methionine for organic poultry farmers. A breeding project is conducted to provide farmers practicing organic and other low-input agricultural farming systems with high yielding corn, incorporating the traits described above among others, to meet their specialty markets.

Last Modified: 9/1/2014
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