Corn Domestication Essays

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INTRODUCTION Our article title is “The Origin of the Naked Grains of Maize” which introduces the research performed to explain one aspect of the large variation between maize and Mexican teosinte from which maize was domesticated. The paper goes into how maize has evolved from teosinte and the genetic experimentation performed in order to demonstrate that maize evolved from teosinte. This is an interesting research topic because both of their genotypes are so similar yet their phenotypes are so dramatically different that it resulted in a question of whether maize did in fact evolve directly from teosinte and are members of the same species (Zea Mays) or if it is just a completely different species. Plant Morphology:…show more content…
The glume is a lid-shaped leaf that grows up from the stem and covers the cupule. In maize, the cupule and the glume are greatly reduced resulting in the fruit that is easy to grind and eat. Teosinte and maize do not only differ from one another by physical comparison but also by how each reproduces. It is important to know that a kernel is a dry fruit that contains a single seed inside. In teosinte, the kernels can be easily separated from the plant by means of wind or other forms of weather and this can cause the seeds to scatter and therefore result in the development of new teosinte plants. Whereas, with maize, the seeds are incased in the fruit just like teosinte, however the seeds cannot easily separate from the cob (the stem on which the fruits are produced). In addition, each ear of corn in enclosed in husks which are more modified leaves, trapping the kernels inside. Therefore the reproduction of modern corn is completely dependent on people. Genetics: The results of genetic crosses between teosinte and maize in the 1960’s suggested that the major morphological changes in maize are due to mutations in just five genes. The researchers of this gene hypothesized that the cause of phenotypic change in maize resulted at the regulatory region. The regulatory region is a segment of DNA in which proteins bind and thus control the gene expression of different aspects of the plant. Therefore, one goal of this study was to determine if the
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