Genetic 'Fix' For Problem In Some Sweet Corn Hybrids Developed

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 - 10:21 in Biology & Nature

A genetic quirk discovered in some sweet corn hybrids is helping plant breeders make critical "repairs" to the crop's herbicide-degrading machinery. Several herbicides registered for use on sweet corn kill weeds but not the crop, thanks to protective enzymes in corn that rapidly degrade the chemicals. But some sweet corn hybrids aren't so lucky; they harbor a genetic defect that impedes the enzymes, causing herbicides to linger in the plants, which suffer stunted growth or other harm.

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