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Unformatted text preview: of modern archeological, and genetic techniques, scientists estimate that teosinte was first domesticated in this area around 4,000 to 3,000 B.C. By 1400 B.C., corn cultivation had reached both Mexican coasts. This early corn looked very different than today’s This early corn looked very different than today’s corn in that the kernels were small and individually covered by their own floral parts (similar to oats and barley) and the cob readily broke into small fragments. Additionally, the grain generally developed near the top of the plant. Over a period of thousands of years, Mesoamerican natives improved the crop by systematically selecting for desired traits which has led to the present day appearance of corn. The crop eventually reached what is now southern New England approximately 1,000 years ago. Over a period of thousands of years, Native Americans
purposefully transformed maize through special cultivation
techniques. Maize was developed from a wild grass (Teosinte)
originally growing in Central America (southern Mexico) 7,000+
years ago. The ancestral kernels of Teosinte looked very different
from today's corn. These kernels were small and were not fused
together like the kernels on the husked ear of early maize and
modern By systematically collecting and cultivating those
plants best suited for human consumption, Native
Americans encouraged the formation of ears or
cobs on early maize. The first ears of maize were
only a few inches long and had only eight rows of
kernels. Cob length and size of early maize grew
over the next several thousand years which
gradually increased the yields of each crop.
gradually Two plants believed to be of the
species hybridized to create maize.
maize A tiny cob of Teosinte sits on a cob of
modern Hopi Blue corn.
modern Teosinte (Zea mexicana) showing pollen-bearing
tassel (left) and a female ear with silk (right). This
is truly a miniature version of the modern corn
plant (Zea mays).
plant Corn male flower (tassel) Corn fema...
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This document was uploaded on 03/10/2014 for the course AGRO 1001 at LSU.
- Fall '11