Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Farmers Genetically Modified Corn 4,000 Years Ago
Ananova ^ | 11-13-2003

Posted on 11/13/2003 3:09:10 PM PST by blam

Farmers genetically modified corn 4,000 years ago

Researchers have claimed that farmers in the US and Mexico changed corn genes through selective breeding more than 4,000 years ago.

The scientists say the modifications produced the large cobs and fat kernels that make corn one of humanity's most important foods.

In a study that compares the genes of corn cobs recovered in Mexico and the southwestern United States, researchers found that three key genetic variants were systematically enhanced, probably through selective cultivation, over thousands of years.

The technique was not as sophisticated as the methods used for modern genetically modified crops, but experts claim that the effect was the same: genetic traits were amplified or introduced to create plants with improved traits and greater yield.

"Civilisation has been built on genetically modified plants," said Nina Fedoroff of Pennsylvania State University.

The ancestral plant of corn, teosinte, was first domesticated some 6,000 to 9,000 years ago in the Balsas River Valley of southern Mexico, the researchers said in this Science magazine.

At first, teosinte was a grassy-like plant with many stems bearing small cobs with kernels sheathed in hard shells.

By cultivating plants with desirable characteristics, farmers caused teosinte to create an increasingly useful crop. The researchers said by 5,500 years ago the size of the kernels was larger. By 4,400 years ago, all of the gene variants found in modern corn were present in crops grown in Mexico.

The plant and its grain were so changed by the directed cultivation that it evolved into a form that could not grow in the wild and was dependent on farmers to survive from generation to generation, the study found.

Story filed: 12:00 Thursday 13th November 2003


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 000; 4; agriculture; animalhusbandry; corn; dietandcuisine; environment; farmers; genetically; godsgravesglyphs; huntergatherers; maize; years
Is there anyone who didn't already know this?

Something that you may not have known is that the potato, from South America, introduced into Europe in the 1500's caused a population explosion. There are over 2,000 varities of potatoes, some are resistant to the potato fungus that struck in the 1800's and caused the Irish potato famine.

1 posted on 11/13/2003 3:09:17 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: farmfriend
Ping.
2 posted on 11/13/2003 3:10:03 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
To consider cross breeding the same as genetic engineering is fraudulent. A GE process can create tobacco that glows with genes from a firefly. When you can do that with cross breeding, you let me know.
3 posted on 11/13/2003 3:14:13 PM PST by aimhigh
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Add the hot pepper and tobacco.
4 posted on 11/13/2003 3:17:51 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam; Alamo-Girl
?.......The 'French' bought-off Colorado judges 4,000 years ago to experiment (GM=WMD) with Colorado corn etc.

(The French to destroy the U.S. Wheat Belt?)

naw,.....the U.N. would not allow that......

/sarcasm

(Go Judges Go)

5 posted on 11/13/2003 3:24:14 PM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Amaizeing.
6 posted on 11/13/2003 3:26:07 PM PST by Consort
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: blam
I've been pointing this out in various "GM foods are bas" threads for a long time - where do you srwa the line as what is GM and what isn't - because cross-breeding in plands, and for that matter, selective breeding in animal husbandry are genetic modification.

The only difference between then and now is the scale at which the modification takes place - then, it was on a macrocellular scale - now, it's microcellular.
7 posted on 11/13/2003 3:28:03 PM PST by Keith in Iowa (Tag line produced using 100% post-consumer recycled ethernet packets,)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Researchers have claimed that farmers in the US and Mexico changed corn genes through selective breeding more than 4,000 years ago.

Anybody remember who was President of the United States 4,000 years ago?

8 posted on 11/13/2003 3:29:31 PM PST by usadave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
The Green Nazis, in their zeal for genocide, (Save the Whales - Humans are Expendable), pretend not to know it.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/745309/posts
9 posted on 11/13/2003 3:31:27 PM PST by JoJo Gunn (Help control the Leftist population - have them spayed or neutered )
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aimhigh
>To consider cross breeding the same as genetic engineering is fraudulent.

Really, it's not. The goal of cross breeding is to keep genetic traits one wants to perpetuate in future generations, and eleiminate un-desired genetic traits from future generations - how is that not genetic engineering?

>>When you can do that with cross breeding, you let me know.

Given enough time, it can happen. Genetic Modification via cross breeding is very, very slow.
10 posted on 11/13/2003 3:31:39 PM PST by Keith in Iowa (Tag line produced using 100% post-consumer recycled ethernet packets,)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
"Add the hot pepper and tobacco."

Isn't it amazing that all the worlds hot peppers originated in the Caribbean...Thai and Indian food without hot peppers?

The tomato is also a new world food also...and Marco Polo brought noodles back from China...what did the Italians eat before that?

11 posted on 11/13/2003 3:31:45 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: blam
Hey, I got 4 varieties of irish potatoes growing in my garden right now. However, after tonight's low (32 degrees), I think it will be time to dig 'em up.
12 posted on 11/13/2003 3:33:34 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
How about eggplant? Thinking that is related to tomato and hot peppers or peppers. Not that anybody actually likes eggplant.
13 posted on 11/13/2003 3:34:12 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: blam
From the Americas:
Corn, beans, hot peppers, sweet peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, pumpkins, tobacco, long thread cotton, and avacados.
14 posted on 11/13/2003 3:36:11 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
"How about eggplant? Thinking that is related to tomato and hot peppers or peppers. Not that anybody actually likes eggplant."

My mom planted jalapenos and egg plant in the same row, every other plant, the egg plants came out hot...no kidding. (I didn't know that egg plants and peppers were related)

15 posted on 11/13/2003 3:37:42 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Alas Babylon!
"Corn, beans, hot peppers, sweet peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, pumpkins, tobacco, long thread cotton, and avacados."

You forgot one.

The Curse Of The Cocaine Mummies (Egypt)

16 posted on 11/13/2003 3:41:44 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: blam
An eggplant with some heat might be edible.
17 posted on 11/13/2003 3:42:31 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: blam
Sounds like sneaky roots syndrome.
18 posted on 11/13/2003 3:43:59 PM PST by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: blam
I thought noodles were co-invented by the Chinese and Italians, i.e. created separately, but basically the same thing?
19 posted on 11/13/2003 3:52:24 PM PST by Clock King
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Clock King
"I thought noodles were co-invented by the Chinese and Italians, i.e. created separately, but basically the same thing?"

Marco Polo also brought with him the Chinese cookery to Italy. Dumpling (ravioli) and noodles (spaghetti) are on the list of Chinese cuisine.

20 posted on 11/13/2003 3:59:58 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Alas Babylon!
Hey, I got 4 varieties of irish potatoes growing in my garden right now. However, after tonight's low (32 degrees), I think it will be time to dig 'em up.

Speaking of potato varieties, do you know if there are any lower-carb/higher protein varieties of potato? The standard potato you get in the store (or in your french fries) is a total carb-bomb.

21 posted on 11/13/2003 4:18:08 PM PST by jennyp (http://lowcarbshopper.bestmessageboard.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: blam
Is there anyone who didn't already know this?

I always find "new discoveries" like this so amusing. A lot of this stuff, we were taught back in grade school over 50 years ago.

That's the problem with schools, they don't teach anything any more. That's why things have to be discovered over again. Stupid!

22 posted on 11/13/2003 4:43:36 PM PST by JudyB1938 (It's a wild world. There's a lot of bad and beware.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
I don't doubt that these plants were modified. But, how? Science can't claim that people living 6000 - 10,000 years ago were ignorant stone age hunter gatherers living at the whim of weather and large beasts, yet claim, in the same breath, that they "domesticated" plants.

Why have no new plants become "domesticated" since?

The evidence just doesn't add up. Something major is missing here.
23 posted on 11/13/2003 5:16:14 PM PST by captain_dave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: captain_dave
"Why have no new plants become "domesticated" since?"

Just off the top of my head...Brocclli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage and collards all came from a wild cabbage plant in England.

Both my mom and dad came from farming families, each year at harvest time, they would select seeds from the best looking of the harvest and those seeds would be the next years crop.
That's how the ancients did it, each year for hundreds (probably thousands) of years they just kept selecting seeds each year from the most desireable. From year to year, the change was almost undiscernable but, in the long run, changed the corn plant into what we know today.

24 posted on 11/13/2003 5:35:16 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Keith in Iowa
how is that not genetic engineering?

Again, show me natural cross breeding of animal and plant. Nature has limits, which GE violates, sometimes to the detrement of mankind. 35 died when GE was used to "enhance" bacteria that produced tryptophane several years ago. The result was a brand new chemical structure that killed 35 and injured over a 1,000.

25 posted on 11/13/2003 5:45:24 PM PST by aimhigh
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: jennyp
Well, potatoes have great nutritional value, if properly prepared. They are high in carbs, though, about 26g for the average potato. I find Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn, Russian Banana and Swedish Peanut to be the best value for nutrition (the last three are fingerling potatoes, and are smaller, so less carbs). All of these steam or boil well and have a yellowish flesh, waxy texture, and taste almost pre-buttered, so you don't need to add a lot of fixins to them. I tried growing a russet potato (can't remember the name) that is supposed to have a very high protien content but due to a very hot, dry Spring they all went to blight on me and I haven't tried that variety again (eyes were too expensive).
26 posted on 11/13/2003 5:46:11 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: maestro
Jeepers. Thanks for the heads up!
27 posted on 11/13/2003 7:30:47 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: blam; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; Alas Babylon!; Andyman; annyokie; bd476; BiffWondercat; ...
Rights, farms, environment ping.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.

Gods, Graves, Glyphs
List for articles regarding early civilizations , life of all forms, - dinosaurs - etc.

For real time political chat - Radio Free Republic chat room

28 posted on 11/13/2003 11:21:43 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: captain_dave
Why have no new plants become "domesticated" since?

Lots of plants have been "domesticated" in recent times. I can think of the strawberry off the top of my head. It used to be the tiny wild berry that you can still find in fields but has been bred to be much larger and sweeter by man. See Strawberry history.

29 posted on 11/14/2003 12:32:09 AM PST by Straight Vermonter (We secretly switched ABC news with Al-Jazeera, lets see if these people can tell the difference.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: usadave
"Researchers have claimed that farmers in the US and Mexico changed corn genes through selective breeding more than 4,000 years ago.
Anybody remember who was President of the United States 4,000 years ago? "



Ummmmmmmm musta been ALGORE!!! Yeah! THAT's it!! He invented the wheel too, along about that time!
30 posted on 11/14/2003 1:21:10 AM PST by TEXOKIE (Hold fast what thou hast received!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: farmfriend
BTTT!!!!!
31 posted on 11/14/2003 3:06:02 AM PST by E.G.C.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: aimhigh
Transgenic mutation, just like that used in GM crops, occurs naturally. From bacteria to plant.
32 posted on 11/17/2003 12:28:05 PM PST by Cobra Scott
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: blam
Marco Polo did not introduce noodles to Europe.

Ever read Cicero? Noodles were a mediterranian dish even then.

33 posted on 11/17/2003 12:30:20 PM PST by Cobra Scott
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
Not to mention chocolate, vanilla, and tomatoes (or tomatos or tomaaahtos).

Good thing the Europeans didn't arrive and destroy the Native American Culture until these were discovered.
34 posted on 11/17/2003 12:30:49 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Doctor Stochastic
There is a house in New Jersey where it is said a man ate a tomato for the first time and lived. It's one of those Civil War style houses with a brass placque about the event. The whole town turned out expecting him to die horribly. I don't like tomatoes unless they are tomato paste and don't look like a huge poisonous berry.
35 posted on 11/17/2003 12:36:26 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: aimhigh
It should also be noted that the company making this version of l-Tryptophan changed its filtration procdures also. The incience of EMS was inversely proportional to the amount of activated charcoal filtration. As far as I have read, no tests were done to see if using non-modified bacteria produced problems when the filtration was reduced.
36 posted on 11/17/2003 12:37:59 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
When you make eggplant, you should slice the eggplant into disks then salt both sides. The salt draws out the bitter taste. Wash off the salt after about half an hour or so then fry in good olive oil. This part of preparation seems to be skipped even on the Food Network. Failure produces very bitter eggplant.

Try fried eggplant and cream cheese sandwitches (I found these in Italy.)
37 posted on 11/17/2003 12:40:59 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: blam
Luther Burbank was considered a genius for his development of hybrids. Now we can develop hybrids faster.
38 posted on 11/17/2003 12:42:10 PM PST by Jimmy Valentine's brother (Hey RATS! No Justices - No Peace)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Doctor Stochastic
Thanks! Up to now the best use I knew for eggplant was cocktail coasters.
39 posted on 11/17/2003 12:43:31 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
It really matters.
40 posted on 11/17/2003 12:48:22 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: blam
Thai and Indian food without hot peppers

There are many Thai dishes that are not spicy.

Before the chili's became known to the Thai
they used a varity of pepper corns which are spicy too.
They are still used.

41 posted on 11/17/2003 12:54:05 PM PST by ASA Vet ("Right-wing Internet wacko")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
Not that anybody actually likes eggplant.

My wife's Thai restaurnat uses an awful lot of eggplant.
Should I tell the customers they don't like it? ;-)

42 posted on 11/17/2003 1:43:55 PM PST by ASA Vet ("Right-wing Internet wacko")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: ASA Vet
Some people might consider that a challenge. Maybe get more customers. :)
43 posted on 11/17/2003 1:55:02 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: ASA Vet
What about Parmesan cheese? Somebody at the office has eaten eggplant that way.
44 posted on 11/17/2003 2:17:20 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Jimmy Valentine's brother
"Luther Burbank was considered a genius for his development of hybrids. Now we can develop hybrids faster."

Yup, a lot of fruits/vegetables contain his name...even Burbank, California.

45 posted on 11/17/2003 3:31:24 PM PST by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: farmfriend

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

·Dogpile · Archaeologica · LiveScience · Archaeology · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Discover · Nat Geographic · Texas AM Anthro News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo · Google ·
· The Archaeology Channel · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


46 posted on 05/25/2010 6:41:49 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson