Molecular Genetic Approaches to Maize Improvement – an Introduction
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.
KeywordsMaize Yield Maize Production Transgenic Maize Yield Gain Inbred Parent
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