Talking Biotech: The genetic factors that makes sweet corn sweet

When we think about corn, we usually think about sweet corn. It is a departure from its cousins that are grown on the vast majority of the acreage, the corn bred for use as animal feed and fuel. Sweet corn was specifically discovered and selected because of its sweetness. But how does a kernel of corn divert the resources used for starch production into simple sugars? Curt Hannah has been studying starch production over his 45-year career at the University of Florida. Along the way, he interacted with the University of Florida Sweet Corn Breeding Program down in Belle Glade, FL. The discussion covers the genetic differences between sweet corn and corn-corn that lead to sweetness, but also some of the issues with production, breeding, and genetic engineering.

Related article:  Talking Biotech: How barley gave us pregnancy tests, beer and helped launch an agricultural revolution

Follow Curt Hannah on Twitter @Floridacornman

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Follow Paul Vincelli on Twitter @Pvincell | University of Kentucky webpage 

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