Comments on Corn Outcrossing

Subbaiah C. Chalivendra subbaiah at uiuc.edu
Sun Mar 26 12:46:17 EST 2000

The following discussion currently going on the agbioview news-group
may be useful to the patrons of the maize net.

Out-crossing of GM corn was the topic:

>   - http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com
>Three comments below:
>From: Anatole F Krattiger <afk3 at cornell.edu>
>Since teosinte is threatened to be extinct, maybe insect resistance could
>be very useful a trait giving it a few more decades. In any case, there is
>one type of teosinte which grows mainly in the borders of agricultural
>fields. That is the most threatened. For that teosinte, herbicide tolerance
>might actually become the trait that saves it from total oblivion. Since
>nobody is transforming teosinte with that trait, outcrossing from maize
>could well be desirable rather than pose a threat. Just a though.
>Anatole F Krattiger.
>From: Ann Oaks <aoaks at uoguelph.ca>
>1) It is true that Maize can outcross with teosinte BUT the progeny are
>sterile.  I know, I have worked with the crosses.  Big bushy
>teosintexmaize hybrid, but no flowering parts at least not in Ontario.
>2 One of the reasons we have real problems with weeds and pests is that we
>select them by growing one crop in a field year after year.  Wild teosinte
>would not be the only plant in the field, sooo I suggest the corn boarer
>would not be a problem.
>   Ann Oaks <aoaks at UoGuelph.ca>
>From: Stephen Cessna <cessna at omni.cc.purdue.edu>
>That's just my point!  Convince me.  And not with rhetoric or with
>atitude, but with an educated, confident, and calm answer that doesn't
>ridicule others for not knowing everything about corn. I know it's not
>very ammenable to many of the heated scientific conversations we might be
>used to, but if you really want someone to listen to you, educated
>kindness, and a willingness to admit that things are not perfect, goes a
>long ways.
>Stephen Cessna
>>   Whoa!  I am not keen on Bt corn for corn borers, but what weeds can corn
>>   outcross to in the US?
>On Sat, 25 Mar 2000, Andrew Apel wrote:
>>    - http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com
>>   Maize can outcross with its ancestor, teosinte, a weed common in
>>Mexico. This
>>   has been going on for hundreds of years, though, and we don't have 'super
>>   teosinte' that grows 6 feet tall and produces 300 bushels of teosinte
>>seed per
>>   acre.
>>   I'm not sure corn borers are fond of teosinte, but unless the insects are a
>>   notable biocontrol for this weed, I can't see any adverse effects from
>>   Bt-teosinte.
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Subbaiah Chalivendra
S-27 Turner Hall
Dept. Crop Sciences, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801-4730

Phone: 217 333-9743

Fax:   217 333-6064


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