428 Chapter 13 • The Dynamic Genome: Transposable Elements MODEL ORGANISM Maize Maize, also known as corn, is actually Zea mays, a member of the grass family. Grasses—also including rice, wheat, and barley—are the most important source of calories for humanity. Maize was domesti-cated from the wild grass teosinte by Native Ameri-cans in Mexico and Central America and was ﬁrst in-troduced to Europe by Columbus on his return from the New World. In the 1920s, Rollins A. Emerson set up a labora-tory at Cornell University to study the genetics of corn traits, including kernel color, which were ideal for ge-netic analysis. In addition, the physical separation of male and female ﬂowers into the tassel and ear, re-spectively, made controlled genetic crosses relatively easy to accomplish. Among the outstanding geneticists attracted to the Emerson laboratory were Marcus Rhoades, Barbara McClintock, and George Beadle (see Chapter 6). Before the advent of molecular biology and the rise of microorganisms as model organisms,
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This note was uploaded on 01/10/2011 for the course BIOL BIOL taught by Professor Johnson during the Spring '08 term at Aberystwyth University.