Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health

Welcome to the maize genome database

Why sequence maize?

Indian Corn of the Americas

Maize is a major crop plant

Cultivation of maize during the last 7000 years resulted in a crop plant of major agricultural importance. 600 Mio tons of maize are harvested each year making maize, along with wheat and rice, one of the most important crop plants worldwide. In the future detailed molecular knowledge of the maize genome will allow the improvement of desired traits by refined molecular breeding strategies.


Corn cob

Maize is a major model organism for plant biology

The pioneering work of Barbara McClintock transformed maize to one of the most important model plants. A large body of genetic knowledge, huge amounts of experimental and molecular data are already available. Analysis of the complete maize genome offers the opportunity get to know the complete gene tool box of maize and to learn about the system biology of maize.


Field of corn

The maize genome is a medium sized plant genome

The genomes of Arabidopsis thaliana, the thale cress, and rice as two major plant genome models have already been completely sequenced. Their genomes are comparably small in comparison to the maize genome which with a genome size of 2500 Mb is in the size range of the human genome. Nevertheless in comparison to wheat (15000 Mb) or lilys (120000 Mb) the maize genome appears to be rather medium sized.


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