Isozyme variation in 94 accessions of Mexican maize (Zea mays ssp. mays) and 37 collections of Mexican annual teosinte (Z. mays ssp. mexicana and var. parviglumis) are compared. Variety parviglumis (a predominantly wild plant) shows a closer genetic relationship to maize than does ssp. mexicana (a weedy teosinte often found in maize fields). The isozyme data suggest that maize and Z. mays var. parviglumis share a more recent common ancestor than either of these taxa share with other members of the genus Zea. In this sense, the isozyme data support the theory that maize is a domesticated form of teosinte. Isozyme data provide no evidence for independent origin of Mexican maize races from different taxa of teosinte. Isozyme analysis suggests that gene flow between maize and ssp. mexicana exists, but that it is highly restricted and more probably goes from weed into crop. Maize and var. parviglumis are isozymically too similar and too variable to allow patterns of gene flow between them (if any) to be discerned. The maize- teosinte complex does not fit a model applied to some other crops in that (I) weedy teosinte (ssp. mexicana) does not appear to be a hybrid of the wild form (var. parviglumis,) and maize and (2) the weedy form does not act as a genetic bridge between wild form and crop.
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Paper No. 10479 of the Journal Series of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, Raleigh.
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Doebley, J., Goodman, M.M. & Stuber, C.W. Patterns of isozyme variation between maize and Mexican annual teosinte. Econ Bot 41, 234–246 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02858971
- Economic Botany
- Maize Field
- Wild Form
- Isozyme Variation