History of maize research and cooperation

Classic maize papers

Image galleries

Research, Meetings, Cooperative resources


Rediscovery of Mendel's laws
DeVries, Correns and Tschermak independently rediscover Mendel's work from the 1860s.
Publication: Plant Hybridization before Mendel. Roberts, H. F. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1929.

Discovery of gene linkage
Bateson and Punnet find evidence of genetic linkage in 1906 when they found some gene pairs in sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) do not assort independantly.

First genetic map - for fruit fly
First genetic map was produced by Alfred Sturtevant for fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster).
Publication: The linear arrangement of six sex-linked factors in drosophila, as shown by their mode of association. Surtevant. 1913

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R. A. Emerson

Emerson CornFab
The “cornfab” held in Emerson's hotel room during the AAAS Christmas meetings in New York City in 1928.

First genetic maps for maize
1928-1931. Rhoades: The rapidity with which maize cytogenetics was developing is evident from the fact that in 1928 none of the chromosomes had been cytologically identified and none of the linkage groups was known to be situated in a specific chromosome , but by 1931 all ten linkage groups had been assigned to identifi­able chromosomes. This amazing accomplishment, so quickly achieved, was primarily due to McClintock.

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Linkage group 9 and Rainbow map as of April 12, 1929
Cornfests, Cornfabs and Cooperation. Kass et al., 2005. https://www.genetics.org/content/169/4/1787

Maize stocks held at Cornell University
The public collection of maize was managed at Cornell University from 1929 - 1953

Correlation of cytological and genetic crossing over
Harriet Creighton and Barbara McClintock showed that the recombination of genes linked on a chromosome requires the physical exchange of segments of the chromosome with its homologous partner. This was first shown in maize.
Publication: A Correlation of Cytological and Genetical Crossing-over in Zea mays. Creighton and McClintok, 1931

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Maize News Letter
The Maize News Letter was formally launched by M. Rhoades.

Transposable elements
Barbara McClintok discovers transposable elements.
Publication: The origin and behavior of mutable loci in maize. McClintok, 1951.

Maize Genetics Stock Center
The Maize Genetics Stock Center COOP is established at the University of Illinois Champaign/Urbana by the USDA and takes over management of public maize stocks.

RFLP maps of maize

First maize genetic database
Groundwork for the first online database for maize started by Ed Coe and Mary Schaeffer.

MaizeDB publicly announced by Ed Coe

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The MaizeDB home page in 1994.

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The ZmDb home page in 1999.

ZmDB was established by Volker Brendel and Virginia Walbot

Maize Genetics Executive Committee
The Maize Genetics Executive Committee (MGEC) is established.

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The MaizeGDB home page in 2003.

MaizeDB combines with ZmDB to become MaizeGDB

Human genome
The first draft of the human genome is released.

MaizeGDB Editorial Board
An editorial board is formed from members of the community to recommend papers of high importance to maize researchers.

Maize genome
The first draft of the B73 representative maize genome assembly is released.
Publication: The B73 Maize Genome: Complexity, Diversity, and Dynamics. Schnable et al., 2009.

Maize genome v2

MaizeGDB redesign
Carolyn Lawrence and Carson Andorf launched a redesign of the entire MaizeGDB website.

Maize genome v3

Maize genome v4

NAM founders assemblies
High qualitity assemblies of the 25 NAM founders and B73 are released.