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Biotech Bits

USDA scientists and their colleagues have completed a four-year effort to sequence the genome of corn, an achievement expected to speed up development of corn varieties. The results represent the largest and most complex plant genome sequenced to date and are the cover story in the Nov. 20 issue of the journal Science. "Sequencing the corn genome will help researchers in the United States and around the world develop corn varieties to confront critical global challenges like climate change, hunger, and renewable energy," says Edward Knipling, administrator of USDA's Agricultural Research Service, in a news release. "This effort will provide scientists a preliminary blueprint for identifying genetic pathways that will lead to a better understanding of corn and enable scientists to improve corn in a number of ways."

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