Top Story: Stronger corn

Mutant of a maize

Stronger corn?
Take it off steroids, make it all female

By Brian Wallheimer
December 1, 2011

A Purdue University researcher has taken corn off steroids and found that the results might lead to improvements in that and other crops.

Burkhard Schulz, an assistant professor of horticulture and landscape architecture, wanted to understand the relationship between natural brassinosteroids - a natural plant steroid hormone - and plant architecture, specifically plant height. Schulz said corn could benefit by becoming shorter and sturdier, but the mechanisms that control those traits are not completely understood.

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