• Home
  • Seeds of Discovery
latin america project

Seeds of Discovery

Seeds of Discovery (SeeD) studies and characterizes maize and wheat genetic diversity for use in breeding programs, which develop wheat varieties and maize hybrids improved through conventional technologies. These hybrids are better adapted to climate change, more resistant to pests and diseases and have higher yield potential.

In 2015, SeeD’s main results were:

  • SeeD began a comprehensive study of maize genetic diversity by obtaining, processing and analyzing the world’s largest genotypic data set to help scientists identify new genes of interest for maize breeding programs.
  • More than 2 billion genotypic data and more than 870,000 phenotypic data of maize field trails have been processed and uploaded to SeeD’s database and repository making them available to the scientific community via the project website.
  • A high level of Tar Spot resistance was confirmed in maize landraces native to the state of Oaxaca in Mexico and Guatemala, which will be used to breed new resistant maize lines.

Learn more about the project by visiting seedsofdiscovery.org

To order seeds from CIMMYT, please click here.

  • Maize seed samples
  • Visiting students examine seed samples
  • At work in the maize active collection
  • Different seed samples await germination testing
  • Wheat seed
  • Seed germination test

Funding Institutions

  • Mexico's Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (MasAgro Bioversidad)

  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Principal coordinator

Kevin Pixley

project website



To explore in depth the original genetic composition of maize and wheat through the analysis of hundreds of thousands of seeds stored in gene banks in Mexico.

To make available to the national and international scientific community information on key agronomic characteristics such as tolerance to heat and drought, or resistance to important pests.

To offer a genetic analysis service that taps on the best features of maize and wheat through conventional improvement programs for both grains.

To contribute to long term food security in Mexico and the rest of the world, despite the impact of climate change and the scarcity of natural resources such as water, nutrients and oil.