Photo Carousel Links
Researchers from the U.S.D.A - Agricultural Research Service's Robert Holley Center at Cornell have developed a strain of maize with a high iron bioavailability, meaning more of the iron that is present naturally in these maize lines can be absorbed.
May 30, 2012 - For the first time, the genome of the tomato, Solanum lycopersicum, has been decoded. James Giovannoni, a USDA scientist at the Holley Center, located on the campus of Cornell University, lead the U.S. tomato sequencing team.
Vegetable mutants have been used to discover novel genes for improving crops with enhanced nutritional quality and health-promoting properties
lab research uses functional genomic approaches to dissect complex traits in maize.
USDA-ARS molecular biologist Jim Giovannoni (right) and Boyce Thompson Institute computational biologist Zhangjun Fei (left) led an international research team to develop a tomato pan-genome that revealed nearly 5000 genes or gene variants absent from the original reference genome sequence.
Wild tomatoes are indigenous to the Andes mountains and nearby regions of S. America and were likely domesticated in the area that is now Mexico. European explorers first brought tomatoes to Europe in the 1500's where they served as the foundation for much world-wide tomato breeding through the mid 1900's. Modern breeding continues to use these genetic foundations.
The mission of the Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research Unit is to improve the security and nutritional quality of plant crop species through interdisciplinary research integrating approaches from molecular biology and genomics, bioinformatics, genetics, physiology, biochemistry and membrane biophysics. Our major research areas include: 1) Developing better genomic, computational, and statistical and molecular genetic tools for facilitating fundamental discovery at the gene/protein levels for use in crop improvement; 2) Developing food-based solutions to micronutrient malnutrition and other diet-related issues including development of plant varieties with higher concentrations and/or high bioavailability of critical mineral elements such as iron, zinc, calcium, and selenium, as well as selected phytonutrients including carotenoids, vitamin C and flavonoids; and 3) Enhancing food security via development of food and biofuel crop plant species that can maintain productivity on acidic, nutrient depleted and/or metal toxic soils.