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Maize: Feeding the World

A Geneticist’s Growing Season

What does a maize geneticist do? Explore the growing season of maize, and how scientists study the plant’s genetic diversity and connect it to the phenotypes they observe. Maize needs lots of sun and warm weather to grow. Seeds are usually planted in spring, in marked rows to identify each plant by its pedigree and […]

This series explores the complexity of Maize—or “corn”— which has a history dating back to the beginning of agriculture, and today is used for everything from livestock feed and human consumption, to the production of starch, sweeteners, corn oil, beverage and industrial alcohol, fuel ethanol, and plastics.

Maize is grown on every continent save Antarctica, and is the most widely grown grain in the world. Maize is also one of the most genetically diverse crops, allowing for selection from an incredible array of grain qualities and environmental adaptations.

Scientists at Cornell University are studying the diversity of maize, trying to connect two things: phenotype and genotype. This series explores these concepts and more, come walk through a maize field with us.

This project is in collaboration with the Paleontological Research Institution and is funded by the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program, Award 1238014: “The Biology of Rare Alleles in Maize and Its Wild Relatives.”


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