Corn as evidence of macroevolution (Doebley, Iltis, et.al.)?

A la vida, que hermosura es. ddackerman at tiny.computing.csbsju.edu
Tue Dec 14 00:23:41 EST 1993


As one of the last papers as an undergrad I've been studying corn evolution,
esp. with regards to female and male inflorescence polistichy as a central
aspect of the "Corn Wars." And yes, I have read Doebley, Stec, and Dorth-
weiler's (spelling?) recent paper in Science.
First, thanks to all who responded to a previous post on the subject.
   
It's fairly complete, and I'm not asking for any suggestions or answers to
test questions or the like (probably a relief for those pressing delete any
time a question such as "In your opinion what are the three biggest debates
of [fill in topic]?).

I would just like to pose a question, and that is what researchers hear think
of the idea of macroevolution and such. Especially, I am interested in
what people think of corn (Iltis's C.S.T.T. or the recent Science article on
gene locus tg1 [spelling?]) as an example of macroevolution.

Specifically, can a corn (Zea mays L. subsp. mays), being so genetically 
similar to annual teosintes (ex. Zea mays subsp. mexicana Iltis and Doebley),
truly be counted as an example of macroevolution? My understanding of macro-
evolution is somewhat limited (i.e. I've read more of Darwin than S.J. Gould
:) ), but is this a drastic enough step to count?

This is just curiousity speaking, I'll probably get more than my fill of
info in grad school, but I'd just like to know what people with more
familiarity with the subject think.

Post here if you feel the topic merits discussion, or else feel free to 
e-mail me at 
              ddackerman at tiny.computing.csbsju.edu

Sorry if the post seems a little stilted, organic chem final tomorrow (ah, 
the memories for some of you.....).
 Thanks,
      Dom Ackerman



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