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The maize genetics community needs your help! POPcorn a special resource being developed with the goal of putting all maize-related information in one easy-to-use place. To help make POPcorn the best possible resource, they need feedback on ease of use.

Not a maize geneticist or breeder? The resource might still be of use to you if you study another crop or if you are just interested in learning more about a particular plant gene and what it does.

Any feedback that you can provide would be a big help to the POPcorn team. POPcorn is funded by NSF.

Start at the POPcorn homepage: http://popcorn.maizegdb.org/ and try out the suggested tasks below. Feel free to come up with your own tasks to try out, too. Are they easy to do? Are you able to find the desired information? The gene sequence for waxy is provided below, but feel free to try any nucleotide or amino acid sequence of interest to you.

  1. Are there any genetic stocks containing insertions or deletions in your DNA sequence.
  2. Are there any gene models associated with your sequence? Is there more than one?
  3. Is there evidence that your gene is expressed?
  4. Is your DNA sequence of interest possibly duplicated within the maize genome?  (Try lowering your e-value)
  5. Find your DNA sequence on the genome browsers. Is it possible to design PCR primers for your DNA sequence while you are within the browser. Try downloading your DNA sequence and its flanking sequence into a FASTA file.
  6. Can you find the syntenic regions for your DNA sequence in rice and sorghum?

>lcl|AF267643 Zea mays starch synthase GBSSI (mwx) mRNA, partial cds

You can post any comments you have on POPcorn here and I’ll pass them along, or you can send Feedback directly to the POPcorn team. They send their thanks in advance for your much needed feedback!

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Follow Anastasia Bodnar:
Anastasia is Policy Director of Biology Fortified, Inc. and the Co-Executive Editor of the Biofortified Blog. She has a PhD in genetics with a minor in sustainable agriculture from Iowa State University. Her favorite produce is artichokes!