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Agriculture

Benson Hill and Beck’s unveil corn yield trait

by Melody M. Bomgardner
May 20, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 21

 

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Credit: Shutterstock
New trait puts more corn on the cob.

Benson Hill Biosystems, a biotech firm, and the seed company Beck’s Hybrids say their six-year-old partnership has yielded a trait that increases the efficiency of photosynthesis in hybrid corn. The trait is a result of genetic modification using noncorn DNA. It increases the plant’s ability to fix carbon from the atmosphere and turn it into sugar. Field trials show the trait increases corn yields by at least 5%, the firms say, partly because each cob contains more kernels.

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