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Plant Breeding, Genetics, & Genomics

NIFA NRI Funded Genomics Project Reveals Insights in Seed Development

Plant endosperm, the nutritive tissue surrounding the embryo within seeds of flowering plants, represent more than 60 percent of the world’s food supply. These organs are unusual in that they contain three sets of genomes. Studying these genomes has been difficult because a large amount of storage proteins and starch grains are present and cannot be separated. With funding from the NIFA National Research Initiative Plant Genome program, researchers at Mississippi State University developed novel methods for the removal of starch grains and storage proteins in rice endosperm. These new methods provide the opportunity for scientists to not only improve rice yield by learning ways to increase the size of endosperm, but also will provide critical insight into seed development for many important plants. The results of the study were published in February 2008 in Volume 29, Issue 3 of the journal Electrophoresis.


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