Analysis of Transgenic Rice and Corn that Show Increased Chlorophyll and Seed Yield

We have discovered a set of naturally occurring GATA transcription factors that increase chlorophyll levels, chloroplast numbers and starch in plants. Maize (corn) and Oryza (rice) lines have been created by Syngenta and are being analyzed in the Rothstein laboratory. The project primarily involves determining the exact genes that are controlled by these transcription factors, while also testing transgenic plants under various environmental conditions such as different nitrogen levels and densities. These plants show the potential to maintain biomass and/or increase yields with less nitrogen fertilizer application, which will significantly decrease nitrogen lost into the ecosystem, either as direct runoff into ground water, or as nitrogen released into the atmosphere. This will have a significant impact on input costs for corn producers due to the decreased need for nitrogen fertilizers. Increases in chlorophyll may also enhance the ability of these plants sequester C02 from the atmosphere, which will be analyzed.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Steven J. Rothstein


D. Darryl Hudson


Syngenta Canada


Biochemistry / Molecular biology




University of Guelph



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