Re: NANFA-- Genetically Modified Corn and its effect on the

Bruce Stallsmith (
Mon, 09 Sep 2002 13:20:42 -0400

>wild ancestors. The last I read it was suspected that corn is a hybrid of
>plants both of which are either extinct or so different from the Corn that
>the plants connected are unknown. Corn as we know it does not exist in the
>wild and is totally dependent on cultivation for it's survival. Genetic

No and yes. Corn is pretty well understood to be an intensively selected
form of a wild grass still found in the Valley of Mexico (Mexico City area)
called teocinte (maybe misspelled). This plant is uncommon but looks like a
super-skinny version of modern maize. Corn cobs exist as archeological
artifacts going back at least several thousand years, with the ones from the
time of European contact being obviously identifiable as "corn". My yes
above is to the statement about corn being dependent on cultivation; when
left to natural selection, corn will quickly revert to a form not so
different from teocinte.

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A
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