Corn Sequencing Complete Image 2
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Corn Sequencing Complete (Image 2)

July 27, 2010
To sequence the maize genome, scientists first collect and purify DNA from maize plants in the laboratory. Purified DNA is "chopped up" to produce DNA small enough to analyze. A sequencing machine determines the actual order of about 1,000 DNA bases (abbreviated G, A, T or C) at a time. By analyzing the sequence data with sophisticated computer programs, the fragments can be aligned by overlapping their ends. Repeated sequences throughout the genome make it difficult to match up the correct pieces. When the project is completed, researchers will know the sequence of all 2.5 billion DNA bases in the maize genome

The National Science Foundation, in partnership with the USDA and DOE, and under the auspices of the National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI), funded research to develop a map-based genome sequence for the B73 inbred line of corn. The sequencing project is part of an ongoing effort to understand the structure and function of all plant genes at levels from the molecular and organismal, to interactions within ecosystems. Focus is on plants of economic importance and plant processes of potential economic value. Sequencing the corn genome is one of the major goals of the current plant genome initiative.

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