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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Nov 19;116(47):23850-23858. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1902593116. Epub 2019 Nov 4.

Overexpression of zmm28 increases maize grain yield in the field.

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Research & Development, Corteva Agriscience, Johnston, IA 50131
Research & Development, Corteva Agriscience, Johnston, IA 50131.


Increasing maize grain yield has been a major focus of both plant breeding and genetic engineering to meet the global demand for food, feed, and industrial uses. We report that increasing and extending expression of a maize MADS-box transcription factor gene, zmm28, under the control of a moderate-constitutive maize promoter, results in maize plants with increased plant growth, photosynthesis capacity, and nitrogen utilization. Molecular and biochemical characterization of zmm28 transgenic plants demonstrated that their enhanced agronomic traits are associated with elevated plant carbon assimilation, nitrogen utilization, and plant growth. Overall, these positive attributes are associated with a significant increase in grain yield relative to wild-type controls that is consistent across years, environments, and elite germplasm backgrounds.


MADS-box; carbon assimilation; maize yield; nitrogen utilization; zmm28

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interest statement: This work was funded by Corteva Agriscience, a for-profit agricultural technology company, as part of its research and development program.

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