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Maize-10-Maze | SAS Middle School | Outreach Events 2004,2005 | FAMU FACE Program

The Maize-10-Maze Project

A field replicate of the maize pachytene cytogenic FISH map
Using classical genetics to illustrate gene and chromosome maps in corn.

About Maize-10-Maze
The Maize-10-Maze project is a type of living map of the maize genome in which 10 individual rows represent the 10 chromosomes of corn. We have selected nearly 100 different naturally-occurring mutants of maize that illustrate genetic control of plant growth and development. Mutants that have been mapped to chromosome 1 are in row 1, those mapped to chromosome 2 in row 2, and so on.

This event is open to the public and hosted by the high school student participants in the Forestry and Conservation Education (FACE) Summer Program, 2007, and the FAMU Research Farm in Quincy, FL.

Project Goals
The Maize-10-Maze project plans to use the new cytogenetic map to guide the production of a field replicate of the maize genome in which individual rows represent single chromosomes. This self-guided public tour of the maize genome will raise public awareness of how plant genome research can benefit society, relating genome research to issues of public interest such as food production, plant biology, renewable energy, and genetic diversity. This web site will be updated as we make progress toward our ultimate goal to represent the 10 chromosomes of maize in a 10 row field maze for the general public to explore in summer 2006 and again in summer 2007.

About Maize
Corn (also called maize; scientific name Zea mays) is among the most genetically variable crop plant species ever domesticated by humans. It has a recent and unstable genome with an extraordinary amount of variation in the population. The field contains families carrying ~100 different genetic mutations, each of which can cause a different, interesting, and sometimes bizarre phenotype (appearance). Many of these naturally-occuring mutants were discovered more than 50 years ago. It's like a botanical carnival freak show ... Step right up! See 6-inch dwarfszebra-striped plants, lesion mimicsghost plants, the famous knotted and gnarley mutants, and a lab favorite, the lazy mutants, that would rather lie on the ground than stand up tall.

The maize genome has recently been chosen for sequencing (as the human genome was in the human genome project), a $32 million effort sponsored by the NSF, USDA, and DOE (press release). This field project is one part of a large national effort to characterize the architecture of the maize genome. We will present some famous and classical maize mutants that have been studied and used by genetics researchers and breeders for many decades. Come take a stroll through the mutants of maize. A free cookout lunch and cold drinks will be provided.

Click here to view the photo gallery of maize mutants

Click here to view zmXmz version 4c,
a larger photo gallery collection with more images, higher resolution versions, and some additional ear pictures.

Project Credits
The Maize-10-Maze project is an FSU-FAMU collaborative effort presented by Dr. Hank Bass, Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, and by Drs. Kome Onokpise and Dreamal Worthen, College of Engineering Sciences, Technology & Agriculture (CESTA), Florida A&M University.

SAS Middle School Science Class Projects, 2004

Part of the NSF-supported Maize-10-Maze outreach project,
from the cytogenetic mapping project that is currently underway.

Middle School Science Mentorship Projects with 
the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS), Leon county, FL 
Fall 2004, SAS Science Teacher Joan Crow's mentorship class 
with Florida State Univ. Biology Dept., H. Bass' plant genetics laboratory.

Class Projects & Presentations

Outreach events 2004, 2005

FIELD 2004, Mission Road Field, FSU Biology, Tallahassee, FL
We grew out 120 mutant families and bulked seed this summer (2004) for the future Maize-10-Maze field.

Mutant Field Pictures from 2004 summer field
Robert Garbriel (above right), one of the student field workers, helps with photography.
Mutants selected by:
Marshawn Hay and Hank Bass
Mutant Photo Credits:
Karen Graffius, Field/plant photos
Bobbye Hill, staging
Maria Conejo, Ear photos

Note on source of maize mutants:
The mutants used for this project were selected from a large list of mutants that were originally isolated by geneticists, breeders, and farmers over the last 80 years. Many of these are considered classical mutants, having been studied for years to learn about the principles and mechanisms of genetics and heredity. The mutant stocks are distributed to scientists and breeders through the Maize Genetics Cooperation Stock Center Catalog. Almost all of the maize stocks were obtained by HWB for the Maize-10-Maze project from the maize stock center in winter of 2003/04.

The Mutants of Maize Field Day / FAMU FACE program 2006, 2007

The Forestry and Conservation Education Summer Program is a three-week summer program with the objective of exposing blacks and members of other minorities to the scientific disciplines of forestry and natural-resource conservation, including the genetics of plants and related disciplines. This year, through a special NSF grant, Dr. Bass has worked with Dr. Onokpise and his colleagues to integrate the FSU Maize Genetics project into the FACE Summer Program. This outreach program is intended to expose minority students to aspects of maize (corn) production and management that they would otherwise not be aware of, thereby encouraging high school students in low-income counties to consider plant science as a future career not only in food production but also in forestry and natural-resource management.

2007 Mutants of Maize Field Day: Additional information and photo galleries for the 2007 Field Day at the FAMU Research Farm in Quincy, FL.

Contacts for the FACE program:
Dr. Oghenekome (Kome) U. Onokpise, Professor and FACE Summer Program Director.
E-mail address: oghenekome.onokpise@famu.edu or o.onokpise@worldnet.att.net 
Phone: 850-561-2217/850-412-7044
Dr. Dreamal Worthen, Associate Professor and FACE Summer Program Codirector 
Email address: dworthen@hotmail.com 
Phone: 850-599-3440

Sci-Girls II Field day events, Summer 2008

  NSF Award Abstract

Plant Genome Research Program

Bass Lab Homepage

Mutant Photos/Info


Maize-10-Maze Field Map

Maize Mutant

Maize-10-Maze 2007

SAS Class Projects

SAS Activities

SAS Slideshow

Field Day 2004

Field Day 2004

Field Day 2004

PI: Dr. Hank W. Bass, Florida State University
Funded by the NSF Plant Genome Research Program
Award Abstract: NSF DBI-0321639
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