The University of Arizona

SISTA Colloquium Details


Monday, January 31, 2011

12:00 – 12:50 p.m.

Gould-Simpson Building, Room 906

Light refreshments in 9th floor atrium area - 11:50 a.m.



Steve Goff, Project Director
iPlant Collaborative

University of Arizona


Title: Hybrid Vigor, Protein Metabolism, and Energy Efficiency: How Cyberinfrastructure Can Be Applied.


Abstract: Over 100 years ago, hybrid vigor was described in corn.  Hybrids between genetically diverse corn varieties display enhanced growth, and increased total biomass, stress resistance, and final grain yield. Despite many attempts to understand the biology underlying heterosis, it is still only poorly understood.  Gene expression and metabolic studies in maize, rice and other species suggest that protein metabolism plays a role in the growth differences observed between hybrids and inbreds. Hybrid vigor is observed in a wide variety of different species and is likely to share a common underlying biological mechanism.  This presentation describes a model to explain differences in growth and yield. Data from yeast, mollusk, animal, and human research suggests that specific gene expression changes help conserve energy for growth and allows more rapid cell division. The model suggests an approach to enhance crop yield gains via the creation of an appropriate computational analysis pipeline coupled to an efficient molecular breeding program.  The basic biology will be explained and computational approaches likely to be needed will be described.