2012 MGEC Survey Results

This page contains detailed results of the survey.

There are 157 responses to the survey.

Research Directions   Bioinformatics   Education and Outreach   Maydica   Crop Improvement and Specific Suggestions   Demographics    

Sort by Demographics

(Selection of multiple checkboxes within a single column is allowed. Not selecting any item in a column will return all items in that column.)

There are 157 responses to the survey.

1. Research Directions

(Please rank items from 1 (high priority) - 5 (low priority). Items left unranked will be interpreted as low priority and assigned a value of 6 automatically.)

Data is sorted by Average Score:
QuestionAverage ScorePie ChartBreakdown
1a-2: Advance functional studies of maize genes, gene families, and networks (including reverse genetics resources and developmental atlas RNAseq or proteomic data).

22% (35 / 157) did not respond to this question.
29% (46 / 157) responded with a 1.
20% (32 / 157) responded with a 2.
10% (16 / 157) responded with a 3.
10% (15 / 157) responded with a 4.
8% (13 / 157) responded with a 5.
1a-1: Simplify maize transformation and generate genome engineering capabilities.

33% (52 / 157) did not respond to this question.
19% (30 / 157) responded with a 1.
16% (25 / 157) responded with a 2.
14% (22 / 157) responded with a 3.
10% (15 / 157) responded with a 4.
8% (13 / 157) responded with a 5.
1a-3: Increase high-throughput phenotyping capabilities for maize.

39% (61 / 157) did not respond to this question.
10% (16 / 157) responded with a 1.
13% (21 / 157) responded with a 2.
13% (21 / 157) responded with a 3.
13% (20 / 157) responded with a 4.
11% (18 / 157) responded with a 5.
1a-7: Generate additional sequence for diverse maize genotypes and/or species closely related to maize.

45% (71 / 157) did not respond to this question.
11% (17 / 157) responded with a 1.
14% (22 / 157) responded with a 2.
10% (16 / 157) responded with a 3.
11% (17 / 157) responded with a 4.
9% (14 / 157) responded with a 5.
1a-6: Develop populations and computation tools for understanding quantitative traits (including coordinated phenotyping efforts).

47% (74 / 157) did not respond to this question.
6% (9 / 157) responded with a 1.
15% (23 / 157) responded with a 2.
14% (22 / 157) responded with a 3.
10% (15 / 157) responded with a 4.
9% (14 / 157) responded with a 5.
1a-8: Increase research efforts in areas of global importance such as increased water use efficiency, nitrogen use efficiency, carbohydrate portioning, etc.

47% (74 / 157) did not respond to this question.
11% (18 / 157) responded with a 1.
5% (8 / 157) responded with a 2.
13% (21 / 157) responded with a 3.
12% (19 / 157) responded with a 4.
11% (17 / 157) responded with a 5.
1a-5: Increase genotyping capabilities for maize.

61% (96 / 157) did not respond to this question.
6% (9 / 157) responded with a 1.
4% (7 / 157) responded with a 2.
9% (14 / 157) responded with a 3.
14% (22 / 157) responded with a 4.
6% (9 / 157) responded with a 5.
1a-4: Increase proteomic and metabolomics capabilities for maize.

63% (99 / 157) did not respond to this question.
1% (2 / 157) responded with a 1.
6% (9 / 157) responded with a 2.
8% (12 / 157) responded with a 3.
7% (11 / 157) responded with a 4.
15% (24 / 157) responded with a 5.
1a-9: Increase international cooperation to achieve research goals.

69% (108 / 157) did not respond to this question.
3% (5 / 157) responded with a 1.
4% (6 / 157) responded with a 2.
4% (7 / 157) responded with a 3.
8% (12 / 157) responded with a 4.
12% (19 / 157) responded with a 5.

QuestionAverage ScorePie ChartBreakdown
1a-10: Other

96% (151 / 157) did not respond to this question.
2% (3 / 157) responded with a 1.
1% (1 / 157) responded with a 2.
0% ( / 157) responded with a 3.
1% (1 / 157) responded with a 4.
1% (1 / 157) responded with a 5.

List of user input for 1a-10: Other:
  1. Generation of a gene insertion database (similar to SALK lines in A.th.

  2. Offer an online workshop for the protocols used for next generation DNA sequencing

  3. complete annotation and correlation of genes/transcripts

  4. Improve reverse genetics resources

  5. Use TALENE to activate or silence genes

  6. Simplify STAT tools for analysis of NGS data

2. Bioinformatics

Your inputs in this section will not only be generally useful for community planning, the information collected here will help the USDA-ARS MaizeGDB Team to develop specific strategies that aim to meet your needs. This is especially important now because scientists working at MaizeGDB are in the process of drafting a Project Plan for the next 5 years.

2a. Genome assembly and annotation

(Please rank items from 1 (high priority) - 3 (low priority). Items left unranked will be interpreted as low priority and assigned a value of 6 automatically.)

Data is sorted by Average Score:
QuestionAverage ScorePie ChartBreakdown
2a-2: Focus on assembly and structural/functional annotation of diverse inbred lines (i.e., move the focus from B73 to additional lines).

9% (14 / 157) did not respond to this question.
37% (58 / 157) responded with a 1.
33% (52 / 157) responded with a 2.
21% (33 / 157) responded with a 3.

2a-1: Improve assemblies and annotations of the B73 reference genome sequence.

9% (14 / 157) did not respond to this question.
42% (66 / 157) responded with a 1.
17% (27 / 157) responded with a 2.
32% (50 / 157) responded with a 3.

2a-3: Develop a mechanism to visualize and interact with datasets that include genes and genomic regions absent from B73.

8% (13 / 157) did not respond to this question.
16% (25 / 157) responded with a 1.
43% (67 / 157) responded with a 2.
33% (52 / 157) responded with a 3.

QuestionAverage ScorePie ChartBreakdown
2a-4: Other

95% (149 / 157) did not respond to this question.
3% (5 / 157) responded with a 1.
1% (2 / 157) responded with a 2.
1% (1 / 157) responded with a 3.

List of user input for 2a-Other:
  1. Sequence the rest of the B73 genome

  2. Assembly etc of more diverse material (landraces teosinte)

  3. Develop and improve the mechanisms to compare the genome sequences of other inbreds with the B73 sequence

  4. Molecular cytogenetics

  5. Comb the literature and evaluate functional data for all B73 maize genes, and display data on everyone elses\' browsers or genomes

  6. Comprehensive integration of all available expression and metabolomics date in B73 genome browsers

  7. improve integration and access to data for end users rather than bioinformaticians

  8. integration of information from diverse sources into a single, intuitive browser

2b. New data type integration

(Please rank items from 1 (high priority) - 3 (low priority). Items left unranked will be interpreted as low priority and assigned a value of 6 automatically.)

Data is sorted by Average Score:
QuestionAverage ScorePie ChartBreakdown
2b-3: Develop interaction networks for maize genes.

19% (30 / 157) did not respond to this question.
27% (42 / 157) responded with a 1.
29% (45 / 157) responded with a 2.
25% (40 / 157) responded with a 3.
2b-1: Document experimentally confirmed (high-quality) phenotypes.

24% (37 / 157) did not respond to this question.
37% (58 / 157) responded with a 1.
16% (25 / 157) responded with a 2.
24% (37 / 157) responded with a 3.
2b-2: Display QTL and haplotypes associated with genomic regions within genome browsers.

34% (54 / 157) did not respond to this question.
21% (33 / 157) responded with a 1.
30% (47 / 157) responded with a 2.
15% (23 / 157) responded with a 3.
2b-4: Use bioinformatics techniques to predict protein:protein interactions and deploy tools that enable data mining.

52% (82 / 157) did not respond to this question.
13% (20 / 157) responded with a 1.
18% (28 / 157) responded with a 2.
17% (27 / 157) responded with a 3.

QuestionAverage ScorePie ChartBreakdown
2b-5: Other

95% (149 / 157) did not respond to this question.
1% (2 / 157) responded with a 1.
3% (4 / 157) responded with a 2.
1% (2 / 157) responded with a 3.

List of user input for 2b: Other:
  1. map and integrate epigenetic marks

  2. Integrate with useful data-display websites and on-line research tools of others, like you do with gramene and Coge.

  3. Comprehensive integration of all available expression and metabolomics date in B73 genome browsers

  4. integrate sequence polymorphism data for multiple inbreds

  5. Identify and clone genes responsible for QTL

  6. incorporate RNA seq data into expression databases

  7. integrate network information: coordinated gene expression; pathways; etc

  8. Display sequence information for complex breeding populations.

2c. Bioinformatics researchers should

(Please rank items from 1 (high priority) - 3 (low priority). Items left unranked will be interpreted as low priority and assigned a value of 6 automatically.)

Data is sorted by Average Score:
QuestionAverage ScorePie ChartBreakdown
2c-4: Improve interoperability among the databases that serve our community including, but not limited to, MaizeGDB, MaizeSequence.org, NCBI, PlantGDB, TAIR, and Gramene

18% (29 / 157) did not respond to this question.
36% (56 / 157) responded with a 1.
30% (47 / 157) responded with a 2.
16% (25 / 157) responded with a 3.
2c-2: Establish a simple process for reporting and correcting assembly and gene model errors.

31% (48 / 157) did not respond to this question.
24% (38 / 157) responded with a 1.
24% (37 / 157) responded with a 2.
22% (34 / 157) responded with a 3.
2c-1: Document workflows used to create bioinformatics resources with the same rigor that is applied to experimental bench science.

41% (64 / 157) did not respond to this question.
18% (28 / 157) responded with a 1.
20% (32 / 157) responded with a 2.
21% (33 / 157) responded with a 3.
2c-3: Publicize and adhere to dates of availability for large-scale efforts including, but not limited to, genome sequence assembly and annotation.

48% (75 / 157) did not respond to this question.
15% (24 / 157) responded with a 1.
17% (27 / 157) responded with a 2.
20% (31 / 157) responded with a 3.

QuestionAverage ScorePie ChartBreakdown
2c-5: Other

98% (154 / 157) did not respond to this question.
1% (2 / 157) responded with a 1.
0% ( / 157) responded with a 2.
1% (1 / 157) responded with a 3.

List of user input for 2c: Other:
  1. Identify gaps in sequence

  2. correlate gene/transcript data

  3. Developing provedures and methods for genome selection that will increase the value of the molecular data we have at hand.

  4. No comment...too young/inexperienced.

  5. Solve the big data SNP problem to support minimally GBS

2d. MaizeGDB should primarily focus on:

(Select one)

QuestionCountsPie ChartBreakdown
0: No response
1: the creation of quality (gold-standard) datasets.
2: incorporating large-scale datasets into MaizeGDB as they are made available.
3: Other
0: 6 responses
1: 76 responses
2: 68 responses
3: 7 responses

4% (6 / 157) did not respond to this question.
48% (76 / 157) responded with a 1.
43% (68 / 157) responded with a 2.
4% (7 / 157) responded with a 3.

List of user input for 2d: Other:
  1. Making the accessibility of the data sets and their use more user friendly

  2. aa very good characterization of the genes and related phenotypes

  3. establish a gene browser or a genome browser separately if they can not both be done at once, with gene browser well linked to other relevant data

  4. Evaluation of all annotation data,yours and others; be the gold standard

  5. No comment...too young/inexperienced.

  6. activites only possible with human curation such as judgement about importance and standards integration

  7. user friendly queries

3. Education and Outreach

(Please rank items from 1 (high priority) - 3 (low priority). Items left unranked will be interpreted as low priority and assigned a value of 6 automatically.)

Data is sorted by Average Score:
QuestionAverage ScorePie ChartBreakdown
3a-3: Increase support for training in maize genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics.

20% (31 / 157) did not respond to this question.
37% (58 / 157) responded with a 1.
31% (48 / 157) responded with a 2.
13% (20 / 157) responded with a 3.
3a-4: Support diverse bioinformatics "workshops" at Maize Genetics Conferences and other locations.

38% (60 / 157) did not respond to this question.
15% (24 / 157) responded with a 1.
24% (38 / 157) responded with a 2.
22% (35 / 157) responded with a 3.
3a-2: Create community mutagenesis services to benefit researchers.

55% (86 / 157) did not respond to this question.
24% (37 / 157) responded with a 1.
11% (18 / 157) responded with a 2.
10% (16 / 157) responded with a 3.
3a-5: Increase funding to support travel for education/outreach participants to attend the Annual Maize Genetics Conference, to include high school students, undergraduates, students and/or faculty from Primarily Undergraduate Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, etc.

55% (86 / 157) did not respond to this question.
11% (18 / 157) responded with a 1.
15% (24 / 157) responded with a 2.
18% (29 / 157) responded with a 3.
3a-1: Support community field space.

71% (111 / 157) did not respond to this question.
8% (13 / 157) responded with a 1.
7% (11 / 157) responded with a 2.
14% (22 / 157) responded with a 3.

QuestionAverage ScorePie ChartBreakdown
3a-6: Other

99% (155 / 157) did not respond to this question.
1% (1 / 157) responded with a 1.
0% ( / 157) responded with a 2.
1% (1 / 157) responded with a 3.
0% ( / 157) responded with a 4.
0% ( / 157) responded with a 5.

List of user input for 3a-Other:
  1. Your job is to NOT do research for others

  2. work with other organizations to develop educational tools for young people and undergrads

4. Maydica

(Select one)

QuestionCountsPie ChartBreakdown
0: No response
1:Maydica is a valuable community resource and we should make efforts to improve the journal including investigation of open-access models and improvements in its visibility.
2: Maydica is not an important resource to me and our community might be better served by utilizing existing journal (for example, getting additional maize editorial board members for PLoS One).
3: Other
0: 10 responses
1: 70 responses
2: 70 responses
3: 7 responses

6% (10 / 157) did not respond to this question.
45% (70 / 157) responded with a 1.
45% (70 / 157) responded with a 2.
4% (7 / 157) responded with a 3.

List of user input for 4d: Other:
  1. No opinion.

  2. support and improve maydica and get additional maize/grass editorial board member(s) to leading journals where they are lacking

  3. Maydica should move its base to the US, where most maize scientists work

  4. If Maydica gets referenced in PubMed and Web of Science, it may become a more important resource to all of us

  5. No comment...too young/inexperienced.

  6. I have no experience with Maydica.

5. Crop Improvement and Specific Suggestions

Your input in this section will help the Executive Committee understand the needs and direction of maize improvement efforts.

5a. Please provide specific examples of how maize genetic research has or will directly impact crop improvement. :

List of user input for 4a:
  1. quantitative trait loci will help with biochemical processes

  2. GM crops have been improving farmers\' output for several decades already, the introduction of BT-corn and drought-resistant strains have enabled agriculture to flourish where it otherwise would have failed. That being said, planting standards and more rigorous testing needs to be accomplished very soon, otherwise mother nature will soon catch up, as is already being seen with corn rootworm resistances to BT. Only through maize genetic research will we be able to devise more effective means of pest control and a more sustainable agriculture.

  3. For those of us in industry, we rely on our training in maize genetics and the work of the community to shape how we think about our work (training & knowledge base). And afterall, this is about corn so all is directly applicable to the crop.

  4. Crop insert resistance throught BT genes and viptera genes.
    Increased grain yields each year.
    Glyphospate is reducing the volume of chemical needed to eliminate weeds. This preserves the environmental health.

  5. Need greater linkages with breeders, to ensure they have access to and can use all the genetics coming from maize-

  6. Population-based allelic studies will greatly contribute to our understanding of maize phenotypes and the genes that control these phenotypes. Using this information we can being to combine specific traits to increase yields.

  7. Due to high genome synteny, data from maize research is applicable to other grasses

  8. Going forward agriculture will be expected to produce more with less and/or push into areas that have in the past been regarded as marginal for maize production. That said, the NextGen sequencing of 1000\'s of diverse lines will allow the pairing of allelic combinations not in conventional breeding programs that would otherwise not be combined.

  9. A model system for studying genetic, genomic, and epigenetic changes from long-term selection.

  10. Maize research that elucidates the genetic basis of maize development and response to abiotic stress will positively impact crop improvement by identifying possible targets for genome engineering.

  11. Metabolomic approaches for maize phenotyping
    Development of high protein contain in new hybrids
    Closing the gap between genetic and metabolomic research

  12. Maize is an excellent cytological tool with

  13. enhance a study on tripsacum species.

  14. A good example is the study of apomixis. This process occurs in natural plant species, whereas, despite many efforts, it has never been possible to introduce it into the domesticated crop species of today. We will thus look at possible genetic manipulations as a way of transferring the apomixis technology (AT) in an important crop species like maize. AT is an "enabling technology" that would provide many benefits to crop production. For example in maize it will make possible the fixation of hybrid vigor (heterosis) in F1 hybrids. Its introduction will be very profitable to seed companies, since they will need only one field to multiply and to produce hybrid seed, but also to small to farmers, which can use seeds produced by the F1 lines because they will not show the genetic segregation typical of F2 populations.
    More broadly the development of apomixis technology is expected to have a revolutionary impact on agriculture production by reducing cost and breeding time, avoiding complications typical of sexual reproduction (i.e. incompatibility barriers) and of vegetative propagation (viral transfer). The financial impacts of its application to major crops are considerable, not only for seed companies, but also for small farmers. They will be able to recycle infinitely the improved seeds obtained from either public or private organizations and will have the opportunity to breed and maintain their own varieties.

  15. 1. Hybrid vigor
    2. Molecular markers drive all breeding
    3. GS and GWAS central to all research
    4. Nutritional improvement of maize (vitamin A maize)
    5. Transformation technologies

  16. Heterosis
    gene transformation
    male sterility
    stress tolerance including plant density

  17. Understand genetic and epigenetic basis of maize response to climate stresses; development of variation-tolerant crop.

    Understand the mechanism and role of epigenomic regulation of trait expression; development of variaiton-tolerant crop.

  18. Identifying and transfering teosinte protein genes to improve grain quality.

  19. Adding unique genes, increasing efficiency of backcrossing etc., and assessing diversity in germ plasm.,

  20. Biofortification (e.g., increased Beta carotene in African maize) by introgression of a naturally occurring LYC-E allele discovered via association mapping.

  21. Sutdies on the basic grown and development of maize plus the role of genes in these processes greatly enhances our ability to try to engineer new traits.

  22. to figure out a safer genetically modified corn.

  23. understand pool differences by e.g. analysis of structural variations;
    steps into Epigenetic by combination of miRNAseq-Data with QTL-Data;

  24. Support more research about strategies aggainst pathogens to maize trying antimicrobial peptide from seeds like amaranthus (Ac AMP1 and AMPc2 or from other sources that have been used.

  25. 1) Serendipitous discovery that sh2 mutant kernels are sweet.
    2) Discovery that brown midrib mutant plants have reduced lignin.
    3) Discovery that opaque mutant kernels have superior amino acid composition.

  26. I am not directly involved in crop improvement, but I think exploring the existing rich diversity of maize will lead to future improvement.

  27. -Natural diversity and NAM population for trait detection and mapping
    -MAGIC for identification of enhancers and suppressors
    -genome information from wild species and varieties to broaden the gene pool for breeding

  28. The development of haploid breeding emerged from maize genetics.
    The development of molecular markers facilitated molecular breeding, i.e. introgression of transgenes and genomic regions of interest into recipient lines.
    Historically, the development of hybrid corn breeding techniques, use of cms or nuclear male steriles in hybrid formation and the incorporation of Y1 into maize lines for nutritional improvement.

  29. Maize continues to be the must useful grass/grain/forage model system, and it\'s relatively recent paleotetraploidy makes it uniquely useful in this regard. From maize research will come knowlege of how to engineer genes to do exactly what is desired, making it possible to augment our crops to thrive in environments where more \"natural\" crops will fail, so unnatural will be our environment.

  30. Large scale QTL studies of the type being coordinated by Cornell

  31. Kernel composition and nutritional quality: e.g. shrunken2, opaque2/QPM, carotenoid levels
    Resistance to disease: recent work on genes providing cross-resistance to multiple fungal pathogens
    Productivity: knowledge of genes controlling shoot maturation/flowering time, tolerance to drought and low soil fertility, the genetic basis for heterosis

  32. Present research on water and nitrogen use efficiency will certainly be found on the market in a few years down the road.

  33. analyzing stress response network

  34. The discovery of heterosis in corn led to modern breeding. A mechanistic understanding would further improve crops.
    The elucidation of the starch biosynthetic pathway led to improved sweet corn varieties and varieties with specialty starches.
    The discovery of the opaque-2 mutant and modifiers led to the development of Quality Protein Maize.

  35. 1. Trait genetics, i.e. association studies and QTL studies, in which *measurement* methods are key, in real field conditions.
    2. Increased focus on the influences of allele alternatives and inter-locus interactions at the trait level, the physiological level, the metabolome level, and the proteome level.

  36. Maize is a model organism for crop improvement, maize is serving as a bridge to transfer modern technology from discovery bench to crops.

  37. Constructing more corn mutant database

  38. Well, obviously the world will need to figure out how to feed 10 billion people in the near future.

  39. Locating the important genes(or QTL regions)greatly helped the breeders to improve maize sustainability and production.

  40. deeper knowledge of male sterility might allow a return to a genetic basis for making hybrid seed

  41. Use of 50K Chip as SNP ressource for specific marker develoment
    Genomic sequence as backbone for all genetic maps developped for QTL mapping

  42. Screening for desired effects and phenotypes

  43. Physical and genetic maps, linked, have enabled identification and in some cases cloning of loci of interest for specific traits now used in commercial lines.

  44. I think the academic contribution to student training for industry and international development has the biggest long-term effect, and we should track this and highlight success stories when our students go on to do great work.

  45. Association genetics efforts in maize is now and will continue to drive gains in grain yield and other measures of plant performance. Continued improvement in the areas of data curation and accessibility will open valuable data to broader exploitation, particularly in the areas of crop modelling. Thus, creating value not only to maize research efforts but also to the broader plant community.

  46. Increase in quality and agronomic traits which are the fundemental to food production

  47. Discovery of natural alleles favorable to crop improvement, and use of the genome sequence (and diversity sequences) to develop non-GMO marker assisted selection; or to clone the alleles for transformation. The dream and now at hand one would think.

  48. Mycotoxin contamination of seed is a real important problem and will be solved by deleting/finding new alleles with altered expression of maize genes that trigger fungus to produce mycotoxins.

  49. identification and verification of QTLs and trait associations linked to yield under abiotic stress conditions

  50. Dense SNP data are beginning to unravel the genetic architecture of complex traits and allow for effective genomic selection for crop improvement. Continued areas of emphasis should include the genetic basis of heterosis and the importance of rare alleles in determining phenotype.

  51. Maize genetic diversity and increasing number of mutant lines has had and will have the greatest impact on crop improvement.

  52. It would be wonderful if private-sector researchers and executives could reply to this query in some detail.

  53. selecting high specific regions related to a qtl, haplotype or phenotype related to a important improvment trait, because the high confidence of snp\'s, or molecular markers and genetic diversity from teosinte or landraces

  54. nitrogen use efficiency and drought tolerance

  55. Workshops for practical breeders (public and commercial).

  56. Advances in gentrifying and bioinformatic technology will facilitate application of genomic selection which will allow breeders to make more rapid progress.

5b. Suggest three resources that will facilitate the genetic improvement of maize?

List of user input for 5b-Resource 1:
  1. Evolution

  2. Sequence

  3. complete B73 genome as ref for detailed hapmap and CNV/PAV datasets

  4. More bacterial genomes sequenced

  5. Something like the Breeder\'s Toolbox which the soybean community has to like breeders with genomics

  6. A golden standard, well-annotated reference genome

  7. teosinte

  8. The ability to do site specific mutagenesis (difficult yes, but still needed)

  9. HapMap

  10. MaizeGDB

  11. Development of networks on bioinformatic tools

  12. Being able to search across multiple databases

  13. maize wild relative, tripsacum,

  14. Mutant collection

  15. The use of UniformMu populations

  16. Diverse germplasm

  17. heterosis

  18. Reverse genetics tools for researchers to define gene functions

  19. Gene identification

  20. modern germplasm field and gene function studies.

  21. micro-RNA atlas

  22. Improved annotation of B73 maize gene models

  23. More genomes sequenced to cover PAV genes missing from B73

  24. Landrace phenotypic and genotypic characterization

  25. Reference data sets, annotations and germplasm

  26. Germplasm collections (NCRPIS, CIMMYT, the COOP)

  27. Jerry Kermicle\'s maize collection - how it relates to maize and autism in humans

  28. Setaria

  29. The maize genome and gene annotations

  30. mutation collection of diverse inbreds from mutagenesis with EMS or transposons

  31. Highly efficient transformation procedure

  32. 100X eficiency of transformation, prices like $50/seed packet per one stable event.

  33. reverse genetics

  34. Enhanced transformation in recent elite germplasm

  35. Sequence indexed mutant collection(s) that saturate the maize genome

  36. High quality gene annotations for the B73 genome.

  37. Introgression from diverse sources, accompanied by association.

  38. Adopting animal model for genome selection in maize breeding programs

  39. Develop closer international cooperation

  40. gene transformation

  41. Phytotrons, i.e. Facilities to grow transgenic plants under climate control and attached laboratories to analyze the plants

  42. Community Chip (200k)

  43. genotypes of diverse inbred lines

  44. Transposons and chenical mutagenesis

  45. Faster (\"Arabidopsis-like\") transformation

  46. experiments in selection in varying environments

  47. access to diversity

  48. Better/cheaper/rapid transformation techniques.

  49. More cooperativity between academic and industrial scientists

  50. Informatics support for public molecular plant breeders

  51. metabolomics

  52. expansion/refinement of populations for trait discovery (e.g. NAM)

  53. MAGIC mapping populations to refine QTLs

  54. NAM lines

  55. GRIN-Global, once it is refined and deployed

  56. phenotype

  57. Training Crop Physiologists

  58. Pedigree information of inbred and DH lines used in research

  59. Adapted germplasm

List of user input for 5b-Resource 2:
  1. Bioinformatics

  2. Mapping

  3. resources for breeding photoperiod sensitivity out of tropical materials

  4. Increased graduate funding

  5. Sequenced or at least genotyped with SNP populations with diverse stress response phenotypes

  6. Better transformation protocols

  7. Genetic populations that are community resources

  8. Maize Stock Center

  9. Take the hybrids to the farmer

  10. An additional feature that cytologically maps genome database hits

  11. Central American highland maize races

  12. Genomic sequence and high quality annotation

  13. The use of well characterized genetic stocks

  14. Global databases uniting genotype to phenotype

  15. metabolic fluxes/regualtion

  16. Funding for gene function studies

  17. Reduce regulatory rules

  18. mutant line analysis for gene function determination

  19. HT phenotyping platform

  20. Double haploid line\'s generation

  21. Trained researchers in breeding and bioinformatics

  22. Low cost resequencing facitities

  23. Reverse genetic tools such as UFMu

  24. collection of wild varieties and landraces

  25. The USDA, with its big money, should back-off short term and let the market rule, and get on how we will thrive long-term.

  26. NILs

  27. mutagenesis of recent elite germplasm

  28. Website unifying all phenotypice and SNP data of association panels

  29. A near saturation collection of sequence-indexed gene knockouts.

  30. Constructing corn mutant database by international cooperation

  31. phenotyping

  32. Development of a Pan-genome

  33. QTL analysis

  34. Targeted insertions/mutagenesis by zink-fingers

  35. High throughput phenotyping, perhaps based on biomarkers readable in the greenhouse

  36. data integration that leads to field-testable hypotheses

  37. additional reference genomes

  38. Funding large genetic and trait information resources assessible to all

  39. Tilling center to

  40. reverse genetics

  41. scaled-up and cheap/free access to maize transformation capabilities

  42. de novo genome assembly of a diverse set of inbred lines and wild relatives

  43. better gene models and annotation

  44. Affordable, standardized high through-put phenotyping techniques in the public domain

  45. Genome-wide association study

  46. Genetic Regulatory Networks

  47. Passport data of genetic resources

  48. Cooperative testing programs

List of user input for 5b-Resource 3:
  1. Sequencing

  2. resources for coordinated phenotyping efforts

  3. Open-source data analysis tools

  4. Publication in open access journals

  5. Research on maize quantitative traits

  6. Germplasm

  7. The use of bioinformatic

  8. Community phenotyping trials across the US

  9. gene transformation

  10. Knowledge-bases for integrating knowledge, pathways, interactions, phenomics, and gene expression

  11. Better transformation

  12. Mutagenesis service

  13. Genomic selection

  14. Transformation facilities

  15. NAM

  16. protein interaction network using protein:protein interaction studies

  17. RILs

  18. empirical testing of genomic selection

  19. Gateway compatible collection of all maize ORFs

  20. Sequence polymorphisms (SNP, both large and small InDels) from commonly used genetic stocks (Hi-II, A632, W22, W64A, etc.)

  21. Sequencing more maize lines

  22. new experimental technologies

  23. Sequence information with gene annotation

  24. proteomics

  25. access to genome modification technologies

  26. continued characterization of the transcriptome across multiple lines and tissues

  27. Mu insertion lines

  28. Additional public-sector researh funding with long-term commitments to project support

  29. mutants

  30. Protein-Protein interaction networks

  31. Coopertative genotyping services.

List of user input for 5b-Other:
  1. Metabolomic approaches for maize phenotyping

  2. No comment...too young/inexperienced.

5c. What programs might increase opportunities for international cooperation among maize researchers? More specifically, what are some ways that connections between the maize genetics community and efforts to improve corn production and food security, especially in Africa, could be established?

List of user input for 5c:
  1. Grant opportunities to specifically fund these types of interactions. Travel funds for researchers from non-US institutions to come to the Maize Meeting. Funding for non-US researchers to do sabbatical work in maize labs in the US or vice versa.

  2. Global Plant Council?

  3. More interaction with the CGIAR, especially CIMMYT.

  4. we need international research programs between US, European and Asian groups

  5. More international programs whereby early career scientists can meet each other. A stronger relationship between the maize breeding and maize genetics communities either in the US or internationally. A stronger relationship with scientists from Africa will be more difficult than one with scientists from China (also important) Again, early career opportunities are very important. Funding is key. Perhaps a joint effort between the USDA, NSF, and Gates foundation to establish a program for bringing early career scientists together might be effective.

  6. Increase interaction with HarvestPlus for biofortification research. Have specific maize BREAD grants for research in Africa focused on WUE and perennialism.

  7. A program that describes and shares information to the maize genetics community regarding the environmental challenges to maize growers in Africa would aid maize researchers to understand the modifications needed to make maize more productive in Africa.

  8. Private foundations.
    Goverment agencies.

  9. An online forum dealing with multiple aspects of maize (exclusively maize/ and eventually add sister species)for researchers to ask for advice on techniques and ideas. There should be a multitude of different topics and subtopics.

  10. germplasm enhancement program,

  11. We need NSF to offer specific funding like the BREAD program

  12. Securing sufficient supplies of safe and high quality food and other bio-based products is among the objectives of the Horizon 2020 program. In this context our proposal aimed at achieving two important objectives. The first one is to deepen the knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying seed development in maize, a cereal species of undoubted economic importance. We believe that this is an important prerequisite for future breeding actions. The second is the characterization, in the same species, of reproductive phenotypes that mimic the apomictic type of development. A better knowledge of these traits will open the opportunity of transferring this way of reproduction to agronomically important crops. In other words, the isolation of the genes controlling apomixis is a prelude to their modification and reintroduction as the foundation of apomictic seed production.
    Overall, the importance of conducting research activities in this field has been outlined in the document named "COUNCIL DECISION establishing the Specific Programme Implementing Horizon 2020 - The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)" that contains the following statement: "Genetic improvement of plants and animals for adaptation and productivity traits will call for all appropriated conventional and modern breeding approaches and for a better use of genetic resources".
    The choice of a cereal species relies on the great importance of these species for human life. The three major cereals (maize, wheat and rice) provide approximately 50% of the world's calorific intake, maize being the highest yielding species. As maize and wheat are also the most commonly consumed animal feed grains, these three cereals provide almost 65% of the world's calorific intake, directly or indirectly through the consumption of animal products. Cereal grains are utilized also for industrial uses (raw materials for energy, manufacturing) and are considered as potential biofactories for high value products.
    The effort for modification of seed crops to enhance yield and productivity has to take into account different issues. First of all, it is essential to face the existing demand of foods as well as to tackle the higher demand foreseen for a future that will witness a rapid increase of the human population. At the same time industries and consumers require plants with an improved and novel variation in grain composition.

  13. Working with CIMMYT. Collaborating internationally on G to P model development.

  14. research programs, applied and fundamental, related to improve stress tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

  15. Programs that support production and evaluation of current or new hybrids for Africa, such as those affiliated with national or international research institutes, such as the Institute for Tropical Agriculture.

  16. Provide incentives(stipends?)for researchers who make connections with sister institutes in under-represented regions such as Malawi or Botswana that grow maize in drought conditions.

  17. Work with CIMMYT.

  18. A volunteer program to help farmers in the field. See EArthwatch as example but with opportunites for Maize US to experience and make initial contacts in Africa. Good ideas will flow from that experience perhaps.

  19. Fund two-way short stay exchanges between graduate students in USA and Africa


  21. Strengthen links with CGIAR institutes, especially CIMMYT and IITA

  22. Holding the maize meeting in foreign countries more frequently could help improve attendance of international maize researchers. Invitations to foreign researchers to give talks at the maize meeting in the USA.

  23. NSF Bread

  24. Funding of more basic studies on technology development and QTL analysis by the Gates Foundation.

  25. Increase the informal program to bring in international cooperators to the MGC

  26. Identify a few target international institutions for sustained information and people exchange. This certainly happens in context of grant funding, but only a few projects are typically funded and participation in such projects is geared to short-term outputs, rather than building and sustaining long-term relationships.

  27. Between developped countries this is a simple matter of funding for specific calls.
    With Africa, genetics is certainly not the most important field of interaction - agronomic advice and training seems more important

  28. 1) Organize an annual workshop/short course in Africa on maize genetics research. The course should rotate through several countries and academic institutions. The course would have different themes each year with a different set of international scientists teaching. The goal would be to develop research partnerships and identify students who could be recruited into higher education for maize genetics training.
    2) Hold the Maize Genetics Conference in an African country or fund African scientists to attend the Conference.
    3) Funding programs similar to NSF-BREAD would help. However, the mission of BREAD would need to be expanded towards more translational research. Perhaps the MGEC or MaizeGDB could provide a resource page with funding opportunities that would enable international cooperation?

  29. This is a very critical question and thank you for bring it up. I best solutions I think are (1) Create an independent maize breeding programs in selected countries as a \"show case\" and provide necessary inputs such as advise, budget and all technical support. (2) Open training programs in selected universities in Africa in collaboration with US universities so that graduated students will help Africa.

  30. Visiting Scientist program and exchanging graduate students

  31. Set up of experimental field space open for researchers in Africa could help to set up a connection between international science and the African food production. After this starting point, more and more breeding and inbred-line testing could be done directly in Africa (low costs of manpower), and thus start to produce varieties that are growing especially well under african climate conditions.

  32. Outreach and communication are good, but it usually still comes down to funding.

  33. support for expensive analytics could be donated by US researchers (eg grain nutrient measurements)
    Maize researchers in the US should collaborate on a community, open-source agricultural and social modeling environment that enables \'in-silico\' exploration of potential research thrusts. At the moment we don\'t know what works, and trying projects takes too long.

  34. focus on traits important for developing countries. water and nitrogen use efficiency, disease resistance.

  35. More collaborative work with CIMMYT, increased focus on tropical germplasm and the challenges of growing maize in tropical, typically less well developed, regions of the world (not just east Africa)

  36. Set aside funds to accommodate Africans

  37. CIMMYT and the CGIAR programs such as Generation Challenge; NSF programs such as BREAD.

  38. closer alignment with programs sponsored by philanthropic organizations like Gates Foundation.

  39. long term visiting scientist positions at US institutions for young scientists from developing countries, with assurance and incentives for the good ones to return to their former posts to work cooperatively with the US institutions they visited. Too many scientists from developing countries would view the opportunity as a foot out the door of their own country; too many others will return but not be the kind of scientist who can get the job done. The visits would allow not only training but a close range evaluation period of the visitor for the US institutions.

  40. fund a symposium/workshop before the MGC 2013 and invite scientists that have participated in African maize improvement (e.g., the Kenya Maize Development Program, Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA), etc...) and a diverse set of maize geneticists. Identify target areas for collaboration.

  41. What makes you think increasing corn production will improve food security? Unless a cheap alternative to fossil fuels emerges, increased corn production will only lead to future disasters! Local, diverse agriculture is the answer for most of the world.

  42. Actually, it\'s probably more the responsibility of the international development community to approach the maize research community more directly. The community, in turn, should welcome such contacts.

  43. workshops, academic internships and also share fields between different research groups

  44. Collaboration between NARS-employed breeders and researchers with members of \"advanced\" labs on problems of mutual (!!!) interest and relevance.

    In situ training programs.

  45. CIMMYT is the best program for increasing international cooperation among researchers.

    Increase connections between maize genetics community and CIMMYT.

5d. How could we increase public/popular visibility of the importance of maize genetics?

List of user input for 5d:
  1. Additional educational outreach efforts within primary and secondary school systems.
    Publicize current research in the popular media. All most non-scientists hear about is Monsanto and biofuel.

  2. Encourage our people to talk to media (maybe provide training on how to do this).
    Also, encourage working with kids.
    Do we want to develop some media tools? commercials in strategic places? tap into PBS?

  3. Have more \"splashy\" articles in preeminent journals, especially articles on topics that can be easily relayed to the public -- drought tolerance, pathogen tolerance, etc.

  4. maize is the most important crop; the use of GM corn has lead to a continuation of yield increase in his species; this id different for other grasses such as wheat - we should transport this information more often to the general public

  5. A well placed PBS special or Nova program would not hurt! More realistically working on K thru 12 would also be a good place to start. Better instructional materials for teachers would facilitate this.

  6. Have maize exhibits at Smithsonian in Washington DC. Have the National Corn Growers Association promote a National Maize day.

  7. Aim to have maize research and maize researchers featured in the Science Times section published each Tuesday in the NY Times.

  8. Educational marketing in elementary schools
    Neighborhood meetings
    Inclusion of biology subjects in high schools
    Printing maize genetic logos on popular products

  9. Internet news stories on top news websites.

  10. connect with germplasm enhancement products for genetic diversity study that can be published for use in breeding

  11. We are doing fine

  12. We can icrease the public/popular visibility of the importance of maize genetics in these ways:
    - The scientific pubblications should be all with a free access.
    - The exchange of informations between the different research groups should be more facilitates.
    - It\'s necessar to improve the diffusion of the practices and techniques for breeding

  13. Museum exhibits!

  14. Release frequently information/opportunities to media

  15. Develop children\'s books and podcasts on maize, how we grow and study it, how we learn from mutants, & how that knowledge is translated into beneficial products by universities and ag companies.

  16. Using NSF outreach funds to make connections with and provide educational resources to high school and elementary teachers.

  17. Emphasize importance to University agronomy departments.

  18. Bring some corn plants to the local Mall/State Fair/grade school and explain breeding to the common person. Establish a standard program of teaching materials and sponsor \"Science Vans\" to go to schoools or events.

  19. Giving information thorough distint means radio TV Internet, conferences, and so for sending easy messages about the differnt uses and the importance of Maize as food for humans and animals of very differnts species.

  20. Talk about sweet corn as a mutant that became a wonderful food.

  21. It would be great if we could develop a resource for high school teachers and/or college professors to use in basic biology courses. I\'m thinking of a kit that can be purchased or funded by a grant that would include resources needed to look at a basic phenotype/genotype in maize. This could be pitched to educators at conferences or through a website.

  22. website
    youtube videos
    digital teaching tools available for instructors at universities and high school teachers

  23. Continue doing what is being done.

  24. See 4. Other

  25. Tough task. Certainly the broader biological sciences community and the agribusiness industry see the importance of maize genetics. It is much harder to connect with the public that has little knowledge of or interest in crop genetics other than broad concepts such as help feed the world. Perhaps an emphasis on how maize genetics offers solutions to increasing sustainable food/energy production would increase visibility.

  26. With success stories. This implies to go beyond the discovery of gene function or associations and to use this knowledge for crop improvement. This will only be possible if funding and evaluation agencies change their standards.

  27. Write popular articles that demonstrate how basic research (knowledge) in maize genetics has led to and can lead to applications in medicine and the betterment of human kind. For example, the work of Barbara McClintock. Get more popular articles in Science News or similar venues.

  28. Regular press releases from the MGEC or MaizeGDB highlighting new projects and or interesting discoveries.

  29. Dr Pat Schnable was on the TV show \"How it works: Corn\" a few years ago. I personally believe that it helped gain popular attention and/or awareness of the importance of what we do as maize geneticists. TV science documentaries are always focused on two main areas of science, Astronomy and Geology...because black holes and volcanoes are really \"cool\". If we could find a way to market what we do in an interesting way that appeals to the masses (or future scientists), I believe that it will be much easier for us to acquire funding or at least raise awareness for what we do. If I saw more \"Nova\" specials on genetics in general, or perhaps a seires devoted to genetics on \"The Science Channel\", I bet it would only do us good. Though I do not quite understand how we could advance these ideas, perhaps some committee could find out how to contact network producers and pitch the idea??

  30. We should put more basic research results to maize production faster and also make maize research benefitial for the research of other fields.

  31. news releases

  32. I think is not only a question for maize but for all plants ....
    How could we increase public/populat visibility of plant sciences (more fundamental programs to applied plant breeding) ?

  33. Comparison of productivity per square meter of the main crops.

    Comparison of genetic \"plasticity\" of the main crops.

    -> Maize as one of the most productive crops with the highest genome plasticity bears the biggest potential as crop for the feeding challenges of the 21st century.

    Media and politics should be incorporated in the spread of this message.

  34. Quality imnprovements visible to consumers.

  35. Just do it! Allocate time and effort to reaching out to radio reporters, bloggers, etc. We have lots of raw material, it just needs to be shaped into stories. It is probably worth the investment to hire a public outreach person--NEON, for example, has an excellent person doing this.

  36. publish good science

  37. High profile research in current \"hot\" fields (e.g., systems research) or translational research often will gain popular notice

  38. Providing written documents/publication

  39. Post press releases about individual projects at MaizeGDB.

  40. By utilizing local printed/radio/television media.

  41. More outreach at secondary school and undergraduate level.

  42. pitch stories to NPR, a national geographic exploration of maize landrace diversity, coordinate publication of high profile technical papers with more accessible popular descriptions that place their relevance in context (e.g., if a new hapmap or GWAS paper is published, coordinate with a science writer to develop a perspective piece).

  43. Stress the point that maize is an essential model for studies in plant genetics, development, etc. that will benefit many important crop plants.

  44. Volunteering to write popular/semi-popular media content (articles, blogs, web sites) and/or providing frequent input to professional science writers and reporters.

  45. scientific dissemination in high school, also open academic days in laboratories where the main research is related to maize, short talks in different public spaces (schools). And is not only maize research to be increase for the public eye, also the science.

  46. Make it more visible to high school and middle school children and explain the importance of genetics to younger generations. This would get kids intersted in genetics and possibly cultivate the enxt generation of plant breeders.

  47. Field days and seed fairs, educational movies

6. Demographics

(Selection of multiple checkboxes within a single column is allowed.)


  1. Academia: 66 responses
  2. Public: 44 responses
  3. Private: 26 responses
  4. Government: 16 responses
  5. other: 7 responses
  6. Non-profit: 4 responses


  1. Head of lab: 55 responses
  2. Research scientist: 36 responses
  3. Graduate Student: 31 responses
  4. Postdoc: 9 responses
  5. Educator: 7 responses
  6. Undergraduate: 3 responses
  7. Software Lead: 1 responses
  8. PhD student: 1 responses


  1. United States: 83 responses
  2. Europe: 22 responses
  3. other: 22 responses
  4. China: 8 responses
  5. Canadian: 4 responses
  6. Mexican: 4 responses
  7. africa: 1 responses
  8. Taiwan: 1 responses
  9. Pakistan: 1 responses
  10. Russia: 1 responses
  11. Sri Lanka: 1 responses
  12. japan: 1 responses
  13. Uruguay: 1 responses

Work Location:

  1. United States: 101 responses
  2. Europe: 17 responses
  3. China: 4 responses
  4. Mexico: 3 responses
  5. south africa: 1 responses
  6. Canada: 1 responses
  7. Bahamas: 1 responses
  8. japan: 1 responses
  9. Russia: 1 responses
  10. Pakistan: 1 responses


  1. Male: 84 responses
  2. Female: 47 responses