With the onset of climate change and changes in irrigation, adapting food crops to grow in diverse environments could help feed the world. Now University of California, Davis, scientists are leading a major new project, funded by the National Science Foundation with $4.1 million over five years, to study genetic adaptation to different environments in maize.
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The team is investigating the genetic basis of maize adaptation to high-elevation environments, which will shed light on how wild and domesticated maize populations adapt to new climates…
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Is adaptation to cold environments regulated by a few genes, thousands of genes, or a specific set (or different sets) of genes each time?…
“We’ll learn about particular genes or loci in maize that are important for adapting to these types of climates. But we also need to determine how genes are expressed in different environments, along with the genetic basis for gene expression evolution,” said Dan Runcie, also a plant sciences professor at UC Davis.
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