Corn gene map completed

Monday, February 25, 2008 | 4:19 p.m. CST; updated 6:45 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ST. LOUIS — A group of researchers led by Washington University will announce that it has mapped the genetic sequence of the corn plant.

The announcement is expected to happen later this week at an agricultural conference in Washington, D.C.

The $29.5 million project to map the corn genome has been under way since 2005.

Knowing the genetic map of corn will help agricultural corporations like Monsanto develop new strains of the plant. Demand for the crop has greatly increased as more corn is used to produce ethanol.

The genome project was funded by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy.

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