NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Scientists at Texas A&M will use a $500,000 grant from the US Department of Agriculture to study how certain groups of genes may be used to improve corn crops, the university said today.
Researchers at Texas AgriLife Research, based at Texas A&M, will study and use the LOX gene family in corn plants. They hope to manipulate mutations in these genes in order to help develop corn plants that are able to avoid specific weather-related problems.
The program is focused on two problems: drought and aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is prevalent during droughts and renders corn inedible for humans and livestock.
Corn crop loss in Texas caused by aflatoxin and other mycotoxins in 2008 was around $13 million, Texas A&M said.