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Yield-boosting stay-green gene identified from 118-year-old corn

July 12, 2019

A corn gene identified from a 118-year-old experiment at the University of Illinois could boost yields of today’s elite hybrids with no added inputs. The gene, identified in a recent Plant Biotechnology Journal study, controls a critical piece of senescence, or seasonal die-back, in corn. When the gene is turned off, field-grown elite hybrids yielded 4.6 bushels more per acre on average than standard plants.


July 12, 2019


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$5M DOE Grant for Energy Crops Study

September 19, 2018

An Illinois Crop Scientist will lead a team of researchers on a five-year study of new crops that could contribute to the production of affordable, sustainable sources for market-ready fuels and other valuable products.


September 19, 2018


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Crop achilles' heel costs farmers 10 percent of potential yield

January 23, 2017

Scientists assumed leaves at the top of a plant would be the best at turning higher levels of light into carbohydrates--through the process of photosynthesis -- while the lower shaded leaves would be better at processing the low light levels that penetrate the plant's canopy of leaves. Turns out that in two of our most productive crops, these shaded leaves are less efficient than the top leaves, limiting yield.


January 23, 2017


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Something new under the Arizona sun: a robotic revolution in plant breeding

July 6, 2016

On a bright, hot day this June in Arizona, a vehicle the size of a Golden Retriever, designed and constructed at the University of Illinois, rolls on miniature tank treads between two rows of young plants. A group of researchers, policy-makers, and farmers have gathered to see the early fruits of an unusual hybridization in modern agriculture: a crop of semi-autonomous robots designed to monitor the growth of sorghum and other crops, born of a cross between plant biology and engineering.


July 6, 2016


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