Thomas P. Brutnell

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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)
We generated a high-quality reference genome sequence for foxtail millet (Setaria italica). The ∼400-Mb assembly covers ∼80% of the genome and >95% of the gene space. The assembly was anchored to a 992-locus genetic map and was annotated by comparison with >1.3 million expressed sequence tag reads. We produced more than 580 million RNA-Seq reads to(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)
Setaria italica and its wild ancestor Setaria viridis are diploid C(4) grasses with small genomes of ∼515 Mb. Both species have attributes that make them attractive as model systems. Setaria italica is a grain crop widely grown in Northern China and India that is closely related to the major food and feed crops maize and sorghum. A large collection of S.(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)
C₄ and C₃ photosynthesis differ in the efficiency with which they consume water and nitrogen. Engineering traits of the more efficient C₄ photosynthesis into C₃ crops could substantially increase crop yields in hot, arid conditions. To identify differences between C₄ and C₃ photosynthetic mechanisms, we profiled metabolites and gene expression in the(More)
C(4) photosynthesis drives productivity in several major food crops and bioenergy grasses, including maize (Zea mays), sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), Miscanthus x giganteus, and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). Gains in productivity associated with C(4) photosynthesis include improved water and nitrogen use efficiencies. Thus,(More)
Cereal endosperm tissues account for most of the world's calorific intake, yet the regulation of monocot seed development remains poorly understood. The maize endosperm originates with a series of free-nuclear divisions, followed by cellularisation and subsequent formation of a range of functional cellular domains. We describe the isolation and(More)
Breeding to increase beta-carotene levels in cereal grains, termed provitamin A biofortification, is an economical approach to address dietary vitamin A deficiency in the developing world. Experimental evidence from association and linkage populations in maize (Zea mays L.) demonstrate that the gene encoding beta-carotene hydroxylase 1 (crtRB1) underlies a(More)