WASHINGTON--The US Congress is reportedly close to introducing money into appropriations bills that would initiate a major corn genome project, while scientists argue over whether the lawmakers have picked the right grain for intensive analysis. Some advocate studying rice, which has a simpler genome. But corn is backed by powerful political forces.
The topic was debated at the National Academy of Sciences' Protecting Our Food Supply: The Value of Plant Genome Initiatives meeting last month. The final report of a Congressional task force studying the issue is due out at the end of the year.