From Teosinte to Maize: The Catastrophic Sexual Transmutation

  title={From Teosinte to Maize: The Catastrophic Sexual Transmutation},
  author={Hugh H. Iltis},
  pages={886 - 894}
  • H. Iltis
  • Published 25 November 1983
  • Biology
  • Science
An alternative to the theory that the ear of maize (Zea mays ssp. mays) evolved from a slender female ear of a Mexican annual teosinte holds that it was derived from the central spike of a male teosinte inflorescence (tassel) which terminates the primary lateral branches. This alternative hypothesis is more consistent with morphology and explains the anomalous lack of significant genetic and biochemical differences between these taxa. Maize, the only cereal with unisexual inflorescences… 
The genetics of maize evolution.
  • J. Doebley
  • Biology, Medicine
    Annual review of genetics
  • 2004
Molecular analyses identified one form of teosinte (Zea mays ssp. parviglumis) as the progenitor of maize and a few loci of large effect that appear to represent key innovations during maize domestication.
A cross between two maize relatives:Tripsacum dactyloides andZea diploperennis (Poaceae)
A unique hybrid of Tripsacum dactyloides and teosinte (Zea diploperennis) is described and discussed in terms of its possible role in the origin and evolution of maize.
Homeotic Sexual Translocations and the Origin of Maize (Zea Mays, Poaceae): A New look at an old problem
Current evidence suggests that teosinte was first tended for its green ears and sugary pith by hunter-gatherers as an occasional rainy-season food in small “garden” populations away from its homeland, and not for its abundant grain-containing, hard fruitcases, which are as yet unknown from the archeological record.
Teosinte glume architecture 1: A Genetic Locus Controlling a Key Step in Maize Evolution
The locus that largely controls this morphological difference between maize and teosinte, teosine glume architecture 1, is described and genetically mapped.
The evolution of apical dominance in maize
The cloned teosinte branched1 (tb1) gene encodes a protein with homology to the cycloidea gene of snapdragon and suggests that tb1 acts both to repress the growth of axillary organs and to enable the formation of female inflorescences.
Phyllotactic pattern is altered in the transition to flowering in the early ears of Zea mays landrace chapalote (Poaceae).
The hypothesis that the change in phyllotaxy occurs in the region of husk leaf production before the transition to reproductive growth is tested and the path of procambial differentiation is reconstructed.
Genetics and the Morphological Evolution of Maize
The chloroplast genomes of maize and some Mexican annual teosintes are identical in their restriction endonuclease maps, and allelic constitutions at these genes show no greater differentiation between maize and Mexican annual Teosinte than exists among the races of maize themselves.
The ontogeny of tassels and ears in two annual Mexican teosintes, Zea mays subsp. mexicana and Z. mays subsp. parviglumis, was examined using scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy. Ear
genetic control of prolificacy during maize domestication.
A reduction in number and an increase in size of inflorescences is a common aspect of plant domestication. When maize was domesticated from teosinte, the number and arrangement of ears changed
Origin of the angiosperm gynoecium by gamoheterotopy
The gamoheterotopic origin of the angiosperm gynoecium by a transfer of the bennettitalean microsporophyll structure to the seed-bearing organ is suggested.


The inheritance of inflorescence characters in maize-teosinte hybrids.
H E realization near the end of the last century that a close relationship T existed between maize and teosinte has resulted in an interest from that time to the present in the exact nature of the
The origin and evolution of maize.
The Inheritance of Intergeneric Differences in Zea-Euchlaena Hybrids.
N THIS study of Zea-Euchlaena hybrids and their segregating popuI lations, all those characters (such as width of leaves and number of tillers) which show wide variation in both maize and teosinte
Studies involving sustained treatment of maize with gibberellic acid II: Responses of plants carrying certain tassel-modifying genes.
An explanation of certain elongation patterns in these plants is tentatively made, which points toward the idea that GA depends at least in part on the presence of auxin (IAA) for its effects.
Changes of Endogenous Gibberellin-like Substances with Sex Reversal of the Apical Inflorescence of Corn.
An increase in endogenous GA-like activity with reversion to the female inflorescence is consistent with observations that reversion can be obtained with exogenous application of GA(3) and maleness is enhanced in GA-deficient mutants of maize, and may play a key role in the control of sexuality of corn.
Some Factors Affecting the Reversal of Sex Expression in the Tassels of Maize
The low additional intensity of light used during day-light in these experiments had little if any effect upon sex reversal, and the data from these progenies suggested that additional, less important genes also were involved.
Homologies of the Ear and Tassel in Zea Mays
The exact correspondence between the variation of the male and female inflorescence of Zea Mays is a problem which has attracted a number of minds and has produced several theories, none of which
Organelle DNA variation and systematic relationships in the genus Zea: Teosinte.
It was suggested that the evolutions of the chloroplast and mitochondrial DNAs may be independent of each other, that variation of organelle DNA within a species complex of an organism may be the common condition, and that the DNAs of the organelle and nuclear systems evolve in reasonable harmony.
Studies in the Capparidaceae. III. Evolution and Phylogeny of the Western North American Cleomoideae
An attempted evolutionary interpretation is correlated with the geologic history of North America and is discussed in the light of the probable great importance of desert evolution in this group and the angiosperms generally.