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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Columbia, Missouri » Plant Genetics Research » Research » Research Project #444337

Research Project: Reducing Maize Grain Nitrogen In Support of CERCA, The Circular Economy That Re-imagines Corn Agriculture

Location: Plant Genetics Research

Project Number: 5070-21220-046-010-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2023
End Date: May 31, 2024

The overall objective of the Circular Economy that Reimagines Corn Agriculture (CERCA) Project is to transform U.S. grain farmland into a net-negative component of a circular bioeconomy and reduce global greenhouse gases through increased uptake and recycling of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus fertilizer. The specific objective is to reduce the N content of the grain by reducing protein from ~8% to ~4%, and reduce the amount of N fertilizer applied. This will also reduce the N content in animal waste when this crop is utilized as a feed.

Researchers will take numerous targeted approaches to reduce protein by examining the N transporters in the plant, N sink in the grain, and protein synthesis machinery in the grain. Researchers will also take several untargeted approaches to reducing grain N by screening natural variation and conducting selection for low N.