Maize (Zea mays L.): In Vitro Production of Haploids

  • A. D. Genovesi
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 12)


Maize or corn (Zea mays L.) is a member of the Gramineae family placed in the tribe Maydeae with a diploid chromosome number of 2n = 2× = 20. The origin of corn has been studied extensively and remains a point of controversy. There seems to be general agreement that it originated in the western Hemisphere (Hallauer and Miranda 1981). Columbus, when he discovered the New World, found corn to be a major food staple of the American Indian, in much the form we know it today. Excavations in the caves of arid regions in Mexico revealed fragments of diminutive corn cobs which may have been grown for food more than 5000 years ago (Harpstead 1975). Maize was domesticated by these prehistoric plant breeders to the point where it cannot survive and reproduce in its present form without the aid of man (Brandolini 1970). While maize evolved as a crop of the Americas, it now is grown around the world (Table 1), having today become the third most important food grain, following closely after wheat and rice (Horsfall 1975).


Activate Charcoal Anther Culture Casein Hydrolysate Donor Plant Haploid Plant 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. D. Genovesi
    • 1
  1. 1.Dekalb-Pfizer GeneticsDekalbUSA

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