Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetic 'Fix' For Problem In Some Sweet Corn Hybrids Developed

Date:
May 25, 2008
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
A genetic quirk discovered in some sweet corn hybrids is helping plant breeders make critical "repairs" to the crop's herbicide-degrading machinery. Several herbicides registered for use on sweet corn kill weeds but not the crop, thanks to protective enzymes in corn that rapidly degrade the chemicals. But some sweet corn hybrids aren't so lucky; they harbor a genetic defect that impedes the enzymes, causing herbicides to linger in the plants, which suffer stunted growth or other harm.

A genetic quirk discovered in some sweet corn hybrids is helping plant breeders make critical "repairs" to the crop's herbicide-degrading machinery.
Credit: Photo by Doug Wilson.

A genetic quirk discovered in some sweet corn hybrids by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University of Illinois (UI) scientists is helping plant breeders make critical "repairs" to the crop's herbicide-degrading machinery.

Several herbicides registered for use on sweet corn kill weeds but not the crop, thanks to protective enzymes in corn that rapidly degrade the chemicals. But some sweet corn hybrids aren't so lucky; they harbor a genetic defect that impedes the enzymes, causing herbicides to linger in the plants, which suffer stunted growth or other harm.

Now, with the defect known, plant breeders have begun using a technique called backcrossing to eliminate this herbicide-sensitivity from germplasm used to develop commercial hybrids. This should greatly reduce the risk of injury to sweet corn from registered herbicides, notes Marty Williams, an ecologist in the ARS Invasive Weed Management Research Unit in Urbana, Ill.

Together with UI colleague Jerald Pataky, Williams elaborates on the problem of herbicide sensitivity in sweet corn, and the benefits expected from discovering its genetic cause, in two articles in Weed Science. One article identifies the genetic cause of sensitivity to tembotrione, a new corn herbicide available this year. The other article—written with UI colleague Dean Riechers; Jon Nordby, formerly with UI; and General Mills' Joe Lutz—details the genetic basis of sensitivity to several existing herbicides.

The team found that a cytochrome P450 gene, which regulates metabolism of nicosulfuron and bentazon, is also responsible for protecting corn from other unrelated, P450-metabolized herbicides. By examining offspring plants derived from a cross between a herbicide-sensitive sweet corn inbred and a herbicide-tolerant inbred, they concluded that a defect in the P450-gene—or a very closely-linked P450 gene—results in damage to plants from five distinct herbicide classes.

The team's subsequent evaluations of 54 sweet corn hybrids and 40 inbred lines found the faulty P450 gene is widespread in both processing and fresh-market types of sweet corn grown throughout North America, but that it can eventually be eliminated with selective breeding.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "Genetic 'Fix' For Problem In Some Sweet Corn Hybrids Developed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080521102619.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2008, May 25). Genetic 'Fix' For Problem In Some Sweet Corn Hybrids Developed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080521102619.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "Genetic 'Fix' For Problem In Some Sweet Corn Hybrids Developed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080521102619.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Washington Wildlife Center Goes Nuts Over Baby Squirrels

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) An animal rescue in Washington state receives an influx of orphaned squirrels, keeping workers busy as they nurse them back to health. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Experimental Ebola Drug ZMapp Cures Lab Monkeys Of Disease

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) In a new study, a promising experimental treatment for Ebola managed to cure a group of infected macaque monkeys. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) 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