OPTIMAS - Systems Biology of Maize Plants

zea mays OPTIMAS is a systems biology approach to address the question how to increase yield and plant biomass for food, feed and bioenergy purposes. Furthermore it will provide new useful insights in the distribution of plant resources between vegetative biomass and corn yield. The goal of OPTIMAS is the identification of metabolic processes and of unigenes, which correlate positively with a high biomass production and yield in the C4-plant maize. To reach this goal a correlation between physiological, biochemical and molecular data with agronomically relevant parameters has to be established in a reductionistic approach. Afterwards the predicted processes/unigenes will be examined in a largely diverse population of maize genotypes. Based on these results there will be molecular or biochemical markers available which can be used for precision breeding and for the creation of transgenic plants. As a long-term perspective, systems biology tools will be provided to allow the breeding of an efficient and ressource-effective maize for farming under optimal and suboptimal environmental conditions. In coordinated modules excessive amounts of molecular and physiological data will be collected and used for derivation of mathematical models of yield generation. Subsequently, these models will be tested in terms of their transferability to agriculturally relevant conditions.

OPTIMAS is funded by: