Skip to comments.Tracking the Ancestry of Corn Back 9,000 Years
Posted on 05/25/2010 6:22:11 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Many botanists did not see any connection between maize and other living plants. Some concluded that the crop plant arose through the domestication by early agriculturalists of a wild maize that was now extinct, or at least undiscovered. However, a few scientists working during the first part of the 20th century uncovered evidence that they believed linked maize to what, at first glance, would seem to be a very unlikely parent, a Mexican grass called teosinte... George W. Beadle, while a graduate student at Cornell University in the early 1930s, found that maize and teosinte had very similar chromosomes. Moreover, he made fertile hybrids between maize and teosinte that looked like intermediates between the two plants. He even reported that he could get teosinte kernels to pop. Dr. Beadle concluded that the two plants were members of the same species, with maize being the domesticated form of teosinte. Dr. Beadle went on to make other, more fundamental discoveries in genetics for which he shared the Nobel Prize in 1958... botanists led by my colleague John Doebley of the University of Wisconsin... discovered that all maize was genetically most similar to a teosinte type from the tropical Central Balsas River Valley of southern Mexico, suggesting that this region was the "cradle" of maize evolution. Furthermore, by calculating the genetic distance between modern maize and Balsas teosinte, they estimated that domestication occurred about 9,000 years ago.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The world is only 6000 years old.
Thanks cajuncow. Here are a couple of related blam topics from a few years ago:
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·
Thank a Mexican.
Hey....knee high by the 4th and all....
Oh my it has been genetically modified! Can’t eat or tolerate that can we.
I hate corn in Europe we fed it to the pigs and no self-respecting person would eat it....
It is a grain used in a lot of nasty products such as High Fructose and now Ethanol subsidized by the Gov.
A pox on the person who told humans to eat it...
It is known that south of there, in the Amazon basin, as far back as 2500 BC, the natives were making “Terra preta”, artificially created, self-sustaining agricultural soil.
Rain forests normally have very poor soil, with most of the nutrients in the plants above it, and water tending to leech the nutrients out of the soil. But the natives figures out that a combination of low temperature charcoal, likely soaked in urine for a while, as well as smashed bone, feces, and baked pottery shards, when mixed in soil from 1 foot to 1 yard in depth, not only made it far better for plants, but tended to revitalize itself, continuing to keep itself fertile, even after hundreds of years.
Since flat, wet land is conducive to grasses, it is no surprise that after the harvest of a good year, those grains preserved for their quality to be used as seed might, in a relatively few generations, make some big jumps.
Do you own a flame suit?
Do you own a flame suit?
I don't know where you always get those pictures, but they crack me up!. LOL!
He has known since he was 4 that he wanted to be a corn geneologist. lol. /sarc
I calced that it occurred 9,472 years ago. When are these people going to learn to be exact...:-)
Nope..The truth will protect me...;>)
Knee high....That’s feed corn.....
Yep, your right! I just got home from sprayin'.
We don’t eat field corn here, either. It’s fed to hogs, cattle, poultry, sheep, goats, horses, even farm-raised fish and domestic pets. It’s the gold standard of energy in livestock rations.
Sweet corn is totally different. Too bad you have missed out on that. A taste-bud treat!
Pop corn is da bomb, too.
I think them Aztecs had a good idea ;-)
Gee golly willikers. Welcome to the land of corn fed women...
Cane sugar has fructose as well,and in nearly the same proportions.As for ethanol,the Europeans are already into alternative energy, but you can shove your European potato vodka. I`ll take Kentucky Bourbon over that rubbing alcohol any day.
Someone played a dirty trick on you when they fed you field corn.
When you eat beans with corn complete proteins result, through a process of mutual supplementation (the beans supplement the corn, and vice versa). Some genius stumbled upon that fact and created the bean taco. (Corn and beans aren't the only combination that work this way — but, it does show that corn can be part of a healthy diet.)
Try Silver Queen white sweet corn. You’ll like it.
Gold-n-pearl is another good one. The kernels are mixed yellow and gold.
There is probably an ancient Aztec farmer with a bin full of teosinte who is still waiting for the price to go up before he sells. (Some things never change.)
The lovely, ordinary potato was once upon a time condemned by the aristocracy as unfit for their own consumption. :’)
The Silver Queen we buy now doesn’t seem to be the same one we bought 20 years ago.
I’ll stick with my potatoes you can have your corn...:>)
“The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye”
Elephants not being overly common in Oklahoma, I wonder how they knew when to harvest it.
I’m too tired and lazy to build proper links for these related topics:
I enjoy corn anytime, but the best way is, grow it, pick it, husk it, cook it, eat it, in order, as quickly as possible. :’)
Is that really needed? Its not new and has nothing to do with the OP. I see it on religious forums which allow liberals and atheists to post. Leftists pretend all Christians believe that. And they repeat it over and over and over.
In the 1920’s, it became relatively safe for him to travel there again. He had made some powerful friends and enemies during the Revolution, and by then all were dead, including Villa (who was killed in reprisal for the murders of my grandfathers close friends Maclovio and Louis Herrerra who were high-ranking revolutionaries). He returned in the early 20’s with a group of Botanists from the University of California, San Diego, and spent the better part of year in the canyon guiding them as they cataloged the plant species.
They did extensive research into Tiosinto, and published their findings long ago. I was just a little boy when he died, but I heard about Tiosinto all my life. Hell, I saw a poster on the wall of a chili shop in the mall in Santa Fe 15 years ago of all the different kinds of corn - right at the top - yep..... Tiosinto.
I've always been fascinated with the idea that a “primitive” culture could dedicate the time and resources to develop an entirely new food crop. Given the conditions and limited (nonexistent by our standards) technology of the time. Unless it was the result of a rapid mutation, it probably took generations of farmers to do it.
I agree with an earlier poster about genetic modification. I tell people when they complain about modern corn growing practices that all corn is “genetically modified”. It just happened in the fields long before we were born.
Anyway, just my story..
Some time back, I stayed at a RV camp in Berea Kentucky. The owners had planted several acres of corn for the campers. The park was on the coast to coast bicycle trail and a lot of Europeans wheeled in exhausted every night. I would bring a pot of water to boiling at sunset. When they arrived and were pitching their tents, I'd go into the field, pick the corn, shuck it and have it in the pot in ten minutes. Amazing how much corn these Europeans ate. It was entertaining to watch. A Dutch student set the record: 18 ears.
There is bad corn. Chewy, bloated kernels are bad. Waiting too long to cook ears is another. But there is nothing sweeter than corn right off the stalk plunged into boiling water for a few minutes. Don't even need butter or salt.
We look down on corn in Europe and the only times i had corn in US it was either burnt or swimming in butter.
If people like corn good for them i will stick with my spuds..
Ever had freeze-dried corn? I bought it for an elderly relative who was not eating. Needed to get some fiber and starches into her. It’s like candy. Crunchy and sweet. Has the taste of fresh corn eaten off the cob (from what you write, I think I know the corn you’ve experienced. It isn’t worth bothering with. Sits in water too long and is boiled days after picking)
In Europe they get pretty full of themselves.
Grilled over a fire, slathered with butter. Simply can’t be beat.
Popped, drenched in butter. Delicious.
Made into grits, topped with butter. Or gravy. Or mixed with shrimp and cheese. Incredible.
Mixed with a little water and butter milk and maybe egg. Baked in a blazing hot frying pan. The REAL staff of life.
You got lucky pigs in Europe. Until the muzzies take over.
The corn that is fed to pigs in the U.S. would not be fed to humans. There are specific varieties of corn grown for animal feed (or for converting to starch or syrup products) that are very different from the varieties grown for people to eat directly. The former are very starchy and tough and are called “feed corn”, whereas the latter are much more tender and even sweet and are called “sweet corn”. Everyone eagerly awaits the first ears of sweet corn in the early summer. It makes a big difference to get it fresh. The taste goes way down if it takes a day or more from the time it’s harvested to the time it’s either processed or you eat it. We have a local farm stand where I’ll get it a couple of hours after it’s been harvested. Take it home, shuck it, pop it in a pot of boiling water. Take it out a few minutes later, salt and butter it and that’s good eating!
The “terra preta” (black earth) of the Amazon basin is a fascinating topic, but I am not sure how this relates to agriculture in southern Mexico.
You have no monopoly on exactitude. After all, consider Bishop Usher who calculated that the earth was created at 2;30 pm on Dec. 23, 4004 BC (or some such similar exact date) based on his “careful” examination of the “begats” in the bible. Anyone who has read the bible knows that the various begats are only approximate, so how did he get so exact?
I pity your ignorance.
Potatoes were taken from South America to Ireland where they became the staple food of the poor. Unfortunately, they shifted to a large, prolific potato that had very poor flavor, and of course was very sensitive to potato blight. More than a million people starved. Thus the large number of Irish now in the US.