Research Article

Teosinte ligule allele narrows plant architecture and enhances high-density maize yields

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Science  16 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6454, pp. 658-664
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax5482

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Less space but greater maize yield

To meet increasing demands for food, modern agriculture works with increasingly dense plantings. Tian et al. identified a gene in teosinte, the wild ancestor of maize, and used it to alter maize such that the plant has a narrower architecture that nonetheless allows leaves access to sunlight (see the Perspective by Hake and Richardson). The yield advantage only becomes evident with the high-density plantings characteristic of modern agriculture, perhaps explaining why this gene was not brought into the fold during the previous millennia of maize domestication.

Science, this issue p. 658; see also p. 640

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