Image provided by Christine Lucas, Stephen Moose Lab
Research funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation
Initiated in 1896 by the University of Illinois, the Illinois selection experiment has produced populations of corn with extreme differences in kernel protein concentration. The experiment reveals how artificial selection alters the regulation of gene expression. Researchers used the intensity of fluorescence in images like the ones on the left to measure protein concentration and localization. Understanding the biological mechanisms controlling the nutritional quality of corn and other cereal grains will help meet the food needs of a growing world population.