Molecular Genetic Approaches to Maize Improvement – an Introduction

  • Robert T. FraleyEmail author
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 63)

In the following chapters prominent scientists will discuss the recent genetic improvements in maize that have brought us to this point, as well as the potential for future improvement. A review of historical improvements is an instructive base from which to launch this discussion.

Let's look back to 1944, when much like today, the United States was planting as many acres of maize as possible and trying to get as much yield as possible from every acre. According to the US Department of Agriculture, about 85 million acres in the US were planted to maize in 1944 — about the same acreage as 2007. The total production of maize in the US in 1944 was 2.3 billion bushels. In 2007, it was 13.1 billion bushels — that's an increase of 470%. The average yield in 1944 was 33 bushels per acre, production typical of that era. That figure has jumped by 360% to 151 bushels per acre.


Maize Yield Maize Production Transgenic Maize Yield Gain Inbred Parent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brookes G, Barfoot, P (2006) Global Impact of Biotech Crops: Socio-Economic and Environmental Effects in the First Ten Years of Commercial Use. AgBioForum, 9(3) 139–151Google Scholar
  2. Duvick DN, Cassman KG (1999) Post-green-revolution trends in yield potential of temperate maize in the north-central United States. Crop Sci 29:1622–1630Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Monsanto, 800 North Lindbergh Blvd. (A3N)USA

Personalised recommendations