This new genome sequence represents a major watershed in genetics because it promises to: 1) advance basic research of maize and other grains and 2) help scientists and breeders improve maize crops, which are economically important and serve as globally important sources of food, fuel and fiber. Resulting improved strains of maize may, for example, produce larger yields, show resistance to disease, offer efficiencies in nitrogen use that would enable farmers to reduce applications of costly, polluting fertilizers, and tolerate changes in rainfall or temperature accompanying climate change.
Researchers have completed sequencing the maize genome, providing a detailed physical map of the maize genome. This map identifies the order in which genes are located along each of maize's 10 chromosomes and the physical distances between those genes.
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