Skip to main content

USDA Gives Grant to Texas A&M for Corn Genetics

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.

The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.