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Mutants Affecting Flowering Time in Maize
Category(s):
For Information, Contact:
Dianah Ngonyama
Associate Commercialization Manager
515-294-4740
licensing@iastate.edu
Web Published:
4/16/2019
ISURF #
4824
Summary:
Iowa State University researchers discovered two maize genes that affect flowering time, and recommend using genome editing to develop homozygous mutants of these genes. This will help adapt elite germplasm to regions with different maturity zones.

Development Stage:
Description:
Crop Breeding companies maintain separate maize breeding programs for different maturity zones to develop lines adapted to local environmental conditions that affect flowering time. Hence, if researchers know which genes to edit to change flowering time, it would no longer be necessary to maintain different breeding programs for each maturity zone. Iowa State University researchers discovered two maize genes (ZmMADS67 and ZmMADS76) that affect flowering time. They then used mutator transposons inserted mutants of these genes which were derived from the Maize Genetics Cooperation Stock Center (http://maizecoop.cropsci.uiuc.edu/) and found that the Mu-insertion homozygous mutants of both genes significantly delayed flowering time compared with heterozygous non-mutants and wild type. Hence, these newly identified mutants affecting flowering time in maize will facilitate the understanding of the underlying mechanism that could be used to modify flowering time. This will reduce the number of different breeding programs required, as these genes could be edited to adapt elite germplasm to regions with different growing season lengths, thus reducing R&D costs.

Advantage:
• Can reduce multiple breeding programs
• Simplified development of new elite germplasm

Application:
Maize breeding across different latitudinal bands (Maturity zones)

References:
Patent Information:
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Patent:
Patent(s) applied for

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