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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.

This year, the event is being held in Tallahassee, open to the public, and hosted by the high school student participants in the FAMU Forestry and Conservation Education (FACE) Summer Program.

2012 EVENT DETAILS, Free and Open to the Public
FRIDAY June 15th 9-12 A.M.
SATURDAY June 16th 8-11 A.M.
LOCATION: Mission Road Research Facility (2606 Mission Road)

Hank W. Bass, Associate Professor Biolocical Science (bass@bio.fsu dot edu)
Gregg Hoffman, Senior Project Manager, CSaGRiM (ghoffman@bio.fsu dot edu) The Maize-10-Maze project first started with the Cytogenetic Map of Maize project. It is designed to showcase maize genetics and plant genotype-phenotype relationships. 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.

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 sequenced enabling advanced genomic analysis. The chromatin structure project at FSU 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.

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, 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.

Additional Movies & Corn Olympics Fun, Maize-10-Maze Field

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

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

Maize-10-Maze 2012 "Before" and the "Field Map"

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

Maize-10-Maze 2012: setting the placard poles, FSU Biology major, OR Maleki.

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


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

Rachel Walsh comes with friend from Plant Biology class; gets Maize-10-Maze explanation from Dr. Bass.

Maize-10-Maze field day - FACE students having fun and doing the corn dance ...

Maize-10-Maze field day 2012, FACE student shows Ramosa1 (Ra1) mutant tassel.

Maize-10-Maze field day 2012, End of event fun with corn olympics - the stalk toss.

Maize-10-Maze 2012, Random Mutant Mix Batting - Pop fly - lost in the sun.

Maize-10-Maze 2012, end of field day drive by.

Here comes tropical storm Debby, June 24 2012.

June 26 2012, Field afer TS Debby, and A. Xiongi, highschool summer scientist.

Maize-10-Maze 2012, Fly through chromosome 4 row, end with lazy1 (la1) mutants growing horizontally.

Maize-10-Maize, late June 2012, Genome/field quick view, in reverse (Chr. 10-1).

Rs1, Rough sheath1, 7.012b, R1 stage, evening, Summer 2012.

Maize-10-Maze 2012; Knotted1 (Kn1 mutants, 43 days after sowing.


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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