1. Plant Biology
  2. Genetics and Genomics
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The Natural History of Model Organisms: Genetic, evolutionary and plant breeding insights from the domestication of maize

  1. Sarah Hake  Is a corresponding author
  2. Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra
  1. US Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service, United States
  2. University of California, Davis, United States
Feature Article
Cite this article as: eLife 2015;4:e05861 doi: 10.7554/eLife.05861
3 figures


Teosinte compared to maize.

(A) A teosinte female inflorescence (left), which arises as a secondary branch from tillers, and tassel (right). (B) An ear (left) and tassel (right) of maize. Size bar in A and B is 10 cm. (C) Teosinte kernel (left) and maize kernel (right). The teosinte kernel is hidden by hardened glumes (see Glossary). The maize kernel is exposed and reveals the endosperm (En) and embryo (Em). The embryo is surrounded by the scutellum (Sc), the nutritive tissue of the cotyledon. (D) A comparison of teosinte on the left, maize on the right and the F1 of maize and teosinte in the middle. Image credits: (D) John Doebley, Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin–Madison; all other images, Sarah Hake.

Geographic breadth of the world's 16 staple crops, expressed in percent of 5′ grid cells in which each crop is cultivated.

Data are from (Monfreda et al., 2008), downloaded from earthstat.org.

Maize reproduction.

(A) Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of a tassel primordium. (B) SEM of an ear primordium. (C) A germinated maize seedling. Image credits: Sarah Hake.


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