26 Jun '16, 11pm

This weird breed of mutant corn could solve world hunger

This weird breed of mutant corn could solve world hunger

As the Earth’s population grows and climate change wreaks havoc on agriculture across the world, food security is going to become a major global problem. That is, unless we can find a way to maximize available farmland. A team of biologists from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory may have done just that by harnessing a natural genetic mutation that raises corn crop yields by a massive 50%. In a new paper published in Nature Genetics , the team outlines the discovery of a genetic pathway that stops ears of corn from growing once they reach a certain size — and a specific mutation that overcomes that built-in limit. The key is in a specific receptor, dubbed FEA3, which is found in the meristem of the plant and processes signals from the leaves telling the ears to stop growing. In some cases, the FEA3 receptors are nonfunctional due to a genetic mutation, allowing the cells of the...

Full article: http://inhabitat.com/this-weird-breed-of-mutant-corn-coul...

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