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Integrated map of the maize genome released


After nearly four years of research, the Maize Mapping Project has released a new map of the maize genome. The map, which integrates information from genetic and physical maps, will be used to find genes for traits that have been linked to regions of maize chromosomes. The project aims to release a comprehensive integrated map by the end of 2003.

“The value of this integrated map is that the position of a gene or genetic trait on the genetic map can be cross-referenced immediately to its corresponding location on the physical map and vice versa,” Karen Cone, a University of Missouri biologist who is associate project director of the Maize Mapping Project, said in a statement on March 20.

Cone and her collaborators presented the map at the 2002 Maize Genetics Conference, held this month in Orlando, Florida. The project includes researchers from the University of Georgia in Athens, Clemson University in South Carolina, and the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Funded by an $11 million grant from the US National Science Foundation, the project aims to speed the discovery of genes for economically important traits. Maize has an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 genes located on 10 chromosomes. The genome is relatively large, with about 2.5 billion base pairs.

“Plant scientists worldwide now have a new resource they can use for gene discovery, studies of gene functions and comparative genomics,” said Cone.

The integrated Maize Genome Map is at


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MU geneticists unveil new maize genome map. Press release, University of Missouri, Columbia (March 20, 2002).

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