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A Book about Plant Genetics for Students & Future Scientists
by Hank Bass and Kome Onokpise

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Book Release Flyer for event on Nov 28th, 2018

zm10mz, the Maize-10-Maze Project

A field replicate of the maize genome and NSF outreach project.
Using classical genetics to illustrate gene function and mapping 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.

2023, the next appearance of the Maize-10-Maze

A collaborative FSU-FAMU (Dr. Bass & Kimberly Davis) public outreach activity, hosted by FAMU Forestry and Conservation Education (FAMU-FACE) Summer Program and FSU Biology.

Public Event Field Day - Date TBA, June, 2023, at Mission Road Research Facility

Facebook Event Page (2017)

PDF of Mutant Placards (from 2017)

Current Placards google Doc a live, real-time working doc (updated by Yoel Beechy, 2022).

List of Chromosome Mutants for Display: WEB page, or PDF, by CHROM NO., or by NAME CONTACT: Hank W. Bass, Professor Biological Science, bass@bio.fsu.edu

The Maize-10-Maze project first started with the Cytogenetic Map of Maize project, designed to showcase maize genetics and plant genotype-phenotype relationships. This self-guided public tour of the maize genome, featuring famous mutants, 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.

Maize-10-Maze Super Cool Mutants PlaylistYouTube vids featuring mutants with help from FSU YSP students.

About Maize Genetics:
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 maze (serpentine path, actually, you can not get lost) field contains families carrying ~100 different genetic mutations, each of which can cause different, interesting, and sometimes bizarre phenotypes (appearances). Many of these naturally-occuring mutants were discovered 50-100 years ago. This living museum includes 6-inch dwarfs, zebra-striped plants, lesion mimics, albescent/ghost plants, the famous knotted and gnarley mutants, and the lazy mutants, that would rather lie on the ground than stand up tall.

The chromatin structure project at FSU is one part of a large national effort to characterize the architecture of the maize genome, supported by the NSF Plant Genome Research Program (NSF IOS 1444532). The public event will present some famous and classical maize mutants that have been studied and used by genetics researchers and breeders for many decades (not your typical farm!). Come take a stroll through the mutants of maize.

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 was an FSU-FAMU collaborative effort presented by Dr. Hank Bass, Karen McGinnis, and Jonathan Dennis, Department of Biological Science, Florida State University, and by Drs. Kome Onokpise and Dreamal Worthen, College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Florida A & M University.

Note on source of maize mutants: The mutants used for this project were selected from a large list of mostly naturally occurring mutants. The mutant stocks are distributed to scientists and breeders through the Maize Genetics Cooperation Stock Center.

Movies From Maize-10-Maze; Planning, Field Day, Etc

For best view, select high-resolution (720-HD) in the movies.

For additional movies including post-even corn olympics, see outreach page 2 videos.

See also movies of FACE students at FSU LAB

FSU undergraduate biology majors (Jasmine/JJR and David/DStJ) work on Maize-10-M aze Field Placards and Demo Ears.

Maize-10-Maze; Before planting, and inspirational book "The Mutants of Maize"

Maize-10-Maze 2012; The 10 chromosome karyotype of maize.

Maize-10-Maze 2012; April planting, with Dr. Gregg Hoffman and David St. Jean.

Maize-10-Maze 2012; white Luteus5 (wlu5 mutants, 11 days after sowing.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: placing placard poles w/ FSU Biology major, Olivia R. Maleki, at tassel seed1 (ts1).

Maize-10-Maze 2012: mutant albescent1 (al1), aka "ghost plant", 42 days after sowing.


FACE students gathering for group photo by the Maize-10-Maze field, Summer 2012.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: Dr. Kome Onokpise talks to FACE students about potential for ornamental corn.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: FSU Field technicians, David and Sharon St. Jean, preparing the field for display .

Maize-10-Maze 2012: FACE students show a local news reporter the field placards describing the maize mutants.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: Quick look over the Maize-10-Maze receiving tent, FACE students, and visiting students.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: June 15th Maize-10-Maze, looking at some public votes (red fl ags) for favorite mutants.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: June 16, morning before 2nd day of the Maize-10-Maze field day.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: FIELD DAY!!! - People touring the genome, walking the chromosomes, learning about the mutants and plant genetics research.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: FIELD DAY!!! - Public visitors of all ages.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: FIELD DAY!!! Rachel Walsh comes with friend from Plant Biology class; gets Maize-10-Maze explanation from Dr. Bass.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: FIELD DAY!!! Dr. Bass demonstrating a "self-pollination" maize genetic cross.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: FIELD DAY!!! Maize-10-Maze field day 2012 - FACE students demonstrating self-pollination maize crosses.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: FIELD DAY!!! FACE student shows Ramosa1 (Ra1) mutant tassel.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: FIELD DAY!!! Maize-10-Maze field day 2012, young maize geneticist, Owen, has some awesome corn seeds.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: FIELD DAY!!! FACE student demonstrates outcrossing of Knotted1 (Kn1) mutant to normal sibling.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: FIELD DAY!!! Maize-10-Maze field day 2012, visitor discusses idea about mutant with iron deficiency-like phenotype.

Maize-10-Maze 2012: FIELD DAY!!! Playing and clean up at end of event.

Andrew Xiong, High-school summer intern, collecting mutant maize tissue for a telomere length project, Summer 2012.

Maize-10-Maze 2012; Ragged leaves1 (Rg1 mutants, 43 days after s owing.

Maize-10-Maze 2012; Tassel seed5 (Ts5 mutants, 46 days after sow ing.

Maize-10-Maze 2012; lazy1 (la1 mutants, rain, 49 days after sowing.

More Fun Corn Vids on Outreach2


NSF Award Abstract

Bass Lab Homepage

Genome Browser


PI: Dr. Hank W. Bass, Florida State University
Funded by the NSF Plant Genome Research Program
NSF Award Abstract 1025954
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