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They've Done Gone Ruined My Corn

It's common knowledge that I don't like orange vegetables. It should also be equally well known that i love corn. Well, look at what they've done!

Torbert Rocheford, the Patterson Endowed Chair of Translational Genomics and professor of agronomy at Purdue, led the study that made findings in yellow and particularly orange corn, a type he said likely originated in the Caribbean and is popular in some Asian and South American countries as well as in northern Italy. The orange color comes from relatively higher levels of carotenoids, one of which is beta-carotene. Humans convert beta-carotene, which also is abundant in carrots, into vitamin A during digestion.

Rocheford is using simple visual selection for darker orange color combined with more advanced molecular natural diversity screening techniques to create better lines of the orange corn.

"We're sort of turbocharging corn with desirable natural variation to make it darker and more nutritious," Rocheford said.

Oh, sure, it's supposed to reduce blindness. Pfft! I ask you, is that any reason to ruin corn?

By min | March 30, 2010, 11:43 AM | Science