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Penn State Led Researchers Identify a Gene That Regulates the Angle of Root Growth in Corn


August 12, 2021

The discovery of a gene that regulates the angle of root growth in corn by an international team of researchers, led by Penn State, is a new tool to enable the breeding of deeper-rooting crops with enhanced ability to take up nitrogen.

The gene, called ZmCIPK15 — a moniker indicating where it is located in the genome and how it functions — was found to be missing in a naturally occurring mutant corn line that grows roots at steeper angles that make them go deeper into the soil. They identified the gene using a technique called genome-wide association study, which involves a painstaking...

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