Plant research

Plant breeding: High yield maize

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology,  the University of Hohenheim and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research identified a genetic fingerprint which reveals new efficient maize cultivars. Their novel computer model predicts the ability of different maize lines to produce high-yield offspring.

The research group of Professor Melchinger harvesting leaf samples to test for metabolite composition.
© Christian Riedelsheimer
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SWEET: New protein for increased harvest yield discovered

Plants must supply their various tissues with the carbohydrates they produce through photosynthesis in the leaves. However, they do not have a muscular pump like the human heart to help transport this vital fuel. Instead, they use pump proteins in their cell membranes for this purpose. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and the Carnegie Institution for Science in California have now identified a new protein, which plays an important role within the plants transport system and which transports sucrose to the plant’s vascular pathways. So now the scientists can regulate these molecular pumps precisely and thereby increase the transport of sucrose to the plant seeds. The discovery could be the basis for increased crop yields and better protection against pest.

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