Why are corn rows so straight? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Why are corn rows so straight?

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August 30, 2005

By: Julia Schulhof

Undated--According to plant biologist Rob Martienssen corn rows are so straight because of a gene called "ramosa-one."

Martienssen reported in the journal "Nature" that without the gene, corncobs would be more like a mutant corn, with long branches that look like zippers. Depending on how active the gene is, it affects cobs to varying degrees.

Martienssen found the gene by growing normal corn with a known gene he could trace, and cross-bred it with the mutant corn. Then he looked for the tracer in the new corn to find the mutant gene.

Martienssen says knowing what controls the structure of corn could make future crops even more productive.

Click here for more information on straight corn rows.

Courtesy: ScienCentral

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