CROP DIVERSITY

Crops are incredibly diverse at the level of their DNA and how they grow in the field.  We sequence crop genomes to understand this diversity of DNA, and we measure millions of plants in the field to understand how this  DNA diversity generates differences in the ways plants look and grow. In order to conduct these experiments, we often create germplasm that mixes the diversity of maize varieties from around the world.  

Did you know that any two maize varieties are far more genetically different that people are from chimpanzees?

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Germplasm diversity is the key to finding useful adaptations for breeding and for finding the genes responsible for variation.  We have characterized and developed a wide range of germplasm that is publicly available as seeds.

GErmplasm

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There are hundreds of thousands of varieties of crops that are developed and tested every year.  Genotyping by sequencing is a cheap and efficient process for measuring and tracking genetic variation for both breeding, genetics, and conservation biology.

genotyping by sequencing

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Whole genome sequencing allows us to identify the specific DNA changes responsible for trait variation.  Our group has led the development of diversity maps (HapMaps) by sequencing hundreds to thousands of maize, grape, and cassava varieties.

whole genome sequencing

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The diversity that matters is the diversity that shows up in the field. We and our collaborators score maize for a wide range of traits including yield, flowering time, height, nutritional quality, drought tolerance, frost tolerance, and nitrogen use efficiency.

trait diversity

Contact Us

Tel: 607-255-1809           

Email: sara.miller@cornell.edu

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Address

175 Biotechnology Bldg  

Ithaca, NY 14853-2703