Supersweet Success: UF Scientists Sequence Genome of Sweet Corn

Clint Thompson Florida, Top Posts

By Brad Buck/UF

University of Florida (UF)/IFAS research has yielded supersweet results that should lead to better sweet corn varieties for producers.

Marcio Resende
UF/IFAS Assistant Professor of Horticultural Sciences
UF/IFAS Photo 07.31.18

Now, a University of Florida scientist is laying the genetic groundwork for better sweet corn varieties. Marcio Resende, a UF/IFAS sweet corn breeder, led a research team that sequenced the genome of a type of supersweet corn.

Resende said scientists can use this information to improve the breeding methods.

“This is expected to translate into better varieties for farmers and consumers,” said Resende, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of horticultural sciences.

For the study, published in Nature Communications, Resende chose a variety that represents the foundation of supersweet corn in the United States.

He and his colleagues used several technologies to reconstruct the sweet corn genome. By using these techniques, the scientists learned the exact structure of the natural mutation of the gene that creates supersweet corn, and therefore higher sugar content.

“We were now able to sequence the genome of a supersweet corn, which will help us to accelerate the development process of novel varieties,” Resende said. “Moving forward, we will analyze the DNA of our current breeding lines and compare them against this genome to select which ones to move forward in the breeding process.”

For full story, see the UF/IFAS website.