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Selective Breeding for Field Corn (High Anthocyanin, Resistance, Appalachia)

 
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Location: Zone 8b TEXAS
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Any updates? I’m enjoying the progress here.
 
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Location: Northeastern Kansas
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Ryan Huish wrote:Wow, yeah, sure enough Baker Creek is selling it! That's cool. So from the description there, it seems like there are no actual Maize Morado genes in there, but only selected from Painted Mountain corn? Or was Maize Morado originally thrown in the field at some point?



This thread might be cold by now, but I thought you might appreciate a little more info on this.

I had also ordered some of the "Mountain Morado" corn developed by Ed Shultz and sold by Baker Creek.  I was aware from browsing the web that Ole Nygard and Dave Christensen at North Frontier Farms (NFF) hadn't yet released their much awaited Montana Morado Maize so I was confused.  I emailed Baker Creek and asked if they were the same thing. Baker Creek said that yes they were the same. This didn't help my confusion though, because why were they coming from different developers at different times?

As you probably know, Ole Nygard and Dave Christensen were scheduled to start selling seed from their Montana Morado Maize in November 2021. (northfrontierfarms.com) As we began to get deeper into November and NFF still hadn't turned on ordering at their website, I sent an email to Ole Nygard to ask when it might be available. He said that they had hit a few snags and they would start selling soon, in a week or two.

I took the opportunity to ask Ole about Ed Schultz and Baker Creek selling Mountain Morado corn, and his response indicated that was that he is very frustrated with that situation, and he emphatically stated that these two corns were not the same thing.

He said more than that but I don't have permission to share. Suffice it to say that there are some hard feelings there.
 
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I think the variety name doesn't really matter all that much.  From what I understand the anthocyanin is, in a way, easy to breed for because seeds that carry it are visually identifiable. I may be mistake but within a kernel, it is primarily associated with the aleurone layer. The thin layer of cells just under the pericarp.

So it's easy to see that a kernel has it, so long as the pericarp isn't too dark or the color of a translucent pericarp isn't combining with the color of the aleurone to produce a false anthocyanin appearance. That is, it looks purple enough but the purple color isn't actually associated with anthocyanin. One way to test for that would be use a small file to cut through the pericarp (in a spot that doesn't damage the germ) to reveal the true aleurone color.

Ok, I said I think it's fairly easy to identify an anthocyanin kernel but I have no clue how that anthocyanin is inherited. Is it dominant? If it is that's not good because a purple kernel could also be carrying a recessive counterpart. Maybe it's recessive, that's great because then you know both genes are the ones you want.

But, is there only one set of genes involved or a combination of genes? How do they interact? Is the anthocyanin trait there or not, or is it quantitive,  existing in varied degrees?

To me that's where Dave Christensen comes in. From what I understand he worked for a very long time developing Painted Mountain and since has been working to isolate a high anthocyanin, purple corn from it. Anyone could grow some Painted Mountain and pick out some purple kernels to plant. Those kernels would probably produce some purple ears but I doubt it would be universally so, nor in the following generation.

My climate isn't suited to flour corn so I can't grow it but if I was in the market I'd wait for the Christensen seeds.
 
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