Skip to comments.Farmers Genetically Modified Corn 4,000 Years Ago
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
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.
My wife's Thai restaurnat uses an awful lot of eggplant.
Should I tell the customers they don't like it? ;-)
Yup, a lot of fruits/vegetables contain his name...even Burbank, California.
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.
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