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We report an improved draft nucleotide sequence of the 2.3-gigabase genome of maize, an important crop plant and model for biological research. Over 32,000 genes were predicted, of which 99.8% were placed on reference chromosomes. Nearly 85% of the genome is composed of hundreds of families of transposable elements, dispersed nonuniformly across the genome.(More)
We have analyzed the maize leaf transcriptome using Illumina sequencing. We mapped more than 120 million reads to define gene structure and alternative splicing events and to quantify transcript abundance along a leaf developmental gradient and in mature bundle sheath and mesophyll cells. We detected differential mRNA processing events for most maize genes.(More)
Dietary vitamin A deficiency causes eye disease in 40 million children each year and places 140 to 250 million at risk for health disorders. Many children in sub-Saharan Africa subsist on maize-based diets. Maize displays considerable natural variation for carotenoid composition, including vitamin A precursors alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and(More)
Adjacent bundle sheath and mesophyll cells cooperate for carbon fixation in the leaves of C4 plants. Mutants with compromised plastid development should reveal the degree to which this cooperation is obligatory, because one can assay whether mesophyll cells with defective bundle sheath neighbors retain C4 characteristics or revert to C3 photosynthesis. The(More)
The Bundle sheath defective2 (Bsd2) gene is required for ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) accumulation in maize. Using a Mutator transposable element as a molecular probe, we identified a tightly linked restriction fragment length polymorphism that cosegregated with the bsd2-conferred phenotype. This fragment was cloned, and(More)
The shade avoidance syndrome (SAS) is a morphological and physiological response initiated by a decrease in light quantity and a change in light quality. Recent work in Arabidopsis thaliana has begun to define the molecular components of the SAS in a model dicot species, but little is known of these networks in agronomically important grasses. The focus of(More)
The emergence of NextGen sequencing technology has generated much interest in the exploration of transcriptomes. Currently, Illumina Inc. (San Diego, CA) provides one of the most widely utilized sequencing platforms for gene expression analysis. While Illumina reagents and protocols perform adequately in RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq), alternative reagents and(More)
The maize (Zea mays) transposable element Dissociation (Ds) was mobilized for large-scale genome mutagenesis and to study its endogenous biology. Starting from a single donor locus on chromosome 10, over 1500 elements were distributed throughout the genome and positioned on the maize physical map. Genetic strategies to enrich for both local and unlinked(More)
The shape of a plant is largely determined by regulation of lateral branching. Branching architecture can vary widely in response to both genotype and environment, suggesting regulation by a complex interaction of autonomous genetic factors and external signals. Tillers, branches initiated at the base of grass plants, are suppressed in response to shade(More)