Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Experiment Station Researcher Looking For Missing Links In Corn

Date:
July 8, 2004
Source:
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications
Summary:
A scientist with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station said the development of corn with improved protein quality would reduce the need for soybean additives when feeding corn to swine and poultry.

COLLEGE STATION – A scientist with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station said the development of corn with improved protein quality would reduce the need for soybean additives when feeding corn to swine and poultry.

Corn is deficient in two essential amino acids, lysine and tryptophan. Increasing the relative content of these two amino acids is the project of corn researcher Dr. Javier Betran.

The resulting nutritionally-improved corn, known as Quality Protein Maize, could have positive implications not only for livestock feeding, but also for human consumption – particularly in developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. There, corn is the main food staple.

Nobel laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug, a distinguished professor of international agriculture at Texas A&M University, has said new technological advances are key to helping developing countries meet future food supply demands.

He has said his greatest worry is Africa, because of its high rates of population, little application of improved technology and escalating food deficits. Borlaug and the International Center for Wheat and Maize Improvement are promoting the development and adoption of Quality Protein Maize in developing countries around the world.

While better protein corn would help human nutrition, it would vastly improve feeding costs in segments of animal agriculture by reducing the need of better protein supplements, Betran said.

"Corn is mainly used for animal feeding in the United States," Betran said. "About 65 percent goes into animal feed. If you feed poultry the same corn, you need to supplement it with another product. Soybeans or synthetic lysine are commonly used to provide the protein quality that the corn doesn't have. Our approach is to improve corn to enhance the content for these two essential amino acids."

In the early 1960s, scientists discovered a "mutant" maize that contained protein with nearly twice as much lysine and tryptophan as found in normal maize. Called "Opaque-2 maize," the protein had a 90 percent of the nutritive value of the proteins in skim milk - the standard against which cereal protein is normally measured.

But it was later discovered by incorporating the "Opaque-2" mutation to corn, it yielded less grain. It also had a higher moisture content and was more susceptible to fungal and insect infestations.

"Those facts right there are not well received by farmers," Betran said. "Our challenge is to put together the protein quality with a competitive yield grain. We want it to be a value-added trait that perhaps has good appealing characteristics. Farmers are not ready at this time for something that has the protein quality but is not a high-yielding variety."

The research includes another component -- making a variety that is less susceptible to aflatoxin, which has been a nemesis for Texas farmers the past decade. Aflatoxin, a mold that commonly develops during periods of drought, can cause illness or death in livestock that consume it.

"We want to have something that is high quality, but yet have low-risk to aflatoxin and it is adapted to our growing conditions," Betran said. "We are selecting and breeding materials from different origins to develop a value-added corn with a desirable combination of traits."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications. "Experiment Station Researcher Looking For Missing Links In Corn." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040708003837.htm>.
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications. (2004, July 8). Experiment Station Researcher Looking For Missing Links In Corn. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040708003837.htm
Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications. "Experiment Station Researcher Looking For Missing Links In Corn." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/07/040708003837.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins