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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 corn. 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 Teosinte showing 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.

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