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Growing maize in a greenhouse/sources for bm leaves and com bm seeds?

Thomas, Steven Steven_Thomas at nrel.gov
Thu Nov 5 14:41:02 EST 1998

Accompanying request, received at the Maize COOP, forwarded to the maize net.

Dear folks,

A colleague of mine, Mark Davis, recently requested (now received, thanks!)
seeds for several brown midrib maize lines for some work we are going to do to
demonstrate whether or not the stover from these lines is more easily
convertible to sugars to feed to fermentative conversion processes.  This idea
was suggested by the increased feeding value of these lines for cattle.
Unfortunately, it is now nearly winter in Colorado and we are going to have to
grow these plants in our greenhouse.  However, I have no experience growing
in a greenhouse and need some guidance regarding light/dark, humidity and
temperature regimes, as well as plant spacing, pot size, soil mixture and
fertilization for optimal growth.  I have also heard mention of "red light" for
greenhouse growth and wonder how I can arrange that.

I do have a supplemental lighting system in my greenhouse (currently in use
tobacco) and use Phillips Son Agro 430W bulbs (daylight spectrum), spaced
at 3-4
foot intervals throughout the growing area.  Do you think this is adequate, or
do I need to do something different for corn?

I would also be interested to learn if you might know of a source of brown
midrib corn stover/leaves which might help us to jumpstart our project.  I
be interested in obtaining stover from bm1, bm2, bm3 and bm4 lines, as well as
any of the combinations of these alleles which might exist.  I have funds
to pay
for these, if necessary.

Also, if there are any commercial lines of brown midrib corn, I would be
interested to learn who distributes them in the US or elsewhere, and if you
any of them in your collection.

Thanks very much for your help.


Steven R. Thomas, Ph.D.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
1617 Cole Blvd.
Golden, CO
USA  80401

ph:   303-275-3858
fax:  303-275-3799
e-mail:   steven_thomas at nrel.gov

visit our Web site at http://www.nrel.gov

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