Science/Medicine : ‘More Efficient’ Corn Hailed


Scientists have successfully produced new, higher-yielding breeds of corn that consistently have faster rates of photosynthesis, the life process that green plants use to make food, the Agriculture Department said.

Doyle B. Peters, a research leader in the department’s Agricultural Research Service at Urbana, Ill., said the seven-year project, now in its final year, leaves “no doubt that we have bred corn that manufactures its food more efficiently.”

Breeding crops for higher rates of photosynthesis is a goal that has eluded scientists for many years, and “may not be possible with most crops, at least not with standard breeding techniques,” Peters said.