Win a copy of Grocery Story this week in the City Repair forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • James Freyr
  • Greg Martin
  • Dave Burton
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Dan Boone

Mutant corn

 
master steward
Posts: 15592
Location: Left Coast Canada
3541
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm going to risk posting this in the main forums because I don't think it's GMO.

This arrived in my mailbox this morning.




I'm wondering what do we think about it.

From what I gather, the scientists are taking advantage of a naturally occurring genetic mutation that makes the plant forget to stop growing when it gets to a certain size. On its own, this mutation isn't much good because the corn kernels are tiny. But take this corn and hybridize it with a normal corn, and we now have a corn that produces 50% more.



This raises all sorts of questions: Is that 50% more for the same amount of inputs (water, soil fertility, &c)? Is the stem strong enough to hold the extra weight? Don't environmental factors also have a huge influence on genetic on/off switches? Would this new corn work in the field (outside the lab settings)?
 
Posts: 400
Location: Roseburg, Oregon
18
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Interesting mutation, I wonder what Mr. Lofthouse's opinion on this is.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 15592
Location: Left Coast Canada
3541
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Shawn Harper wrote:Interesting mutation, I wonder what Mr. Lofthouse's opinion on this is.


My thoughts exactly.
 
gardener
Posts: 6050
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
928
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Interesting, I see they are conducting these tests on dent corn, this is a corn type mostly used by feedlots and chicken farmers.

Will it end up truly viable and replace current varieties?
Perhaps, only time will show if it really works for producing feed.

The farms that would be most likely to use this new breed of corn would be the conventional, commercial corn grower.

We grow very little corn, what we do grow we grind into corn flour, that is the best way for humans to consume and process the nutrients in corn.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11179
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
664
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Bryant RedHawk wrote:
We grow very little corn, what we do grow we grind into corn flour, that is the best way for humans to consume and process the nutrients in corn.



And nixtamalization. http://coldgarden.com/Cold_Garden_Warm_Kitchen/Nixtamalization.html
 
steward
Posts: 4473
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1416
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I see that phenotype of corn show up on my farm from time to time. I end up selecting against it. My processing equipment was engineered 130 years ago to deal well with traditionally shaped cobs. As a small scale farmer, I'm not interested in dealing with the pieces of broken cob that end up in my grain. In a sweet corn, the rough tip tends to attract bugs that make cobs with this trait less marketable.

The article claimed that the corn produces 50% more kernels. It didn't say 50% more grain weight...

I can't know what genes are in my crops, but here's an example that might be related.


 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 6050
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
928
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, you grow the corn, dry the corn, soak it (basically you start to make hominy just not all the way to hominy), dry that then grind it.

It is the best way to get all the nutritional value of corn.
Whole Corn is actually not so good for the human body, the digestive tract tells you this in several ways.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 15592
Location: Left Coast Canada
3541
books chicken cooking fiber arts sheep writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Equipment, that was another thing I was wondering about.

I know just about nothing about processing dry corn, except everyone says how easy it is to get off the cob... really? Anyway, wouldn't funny shaped cobs need different equipment? If so, wouldn't this add to the expense of producing mutant corn?
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
Posts: 11179
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
664
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's some creepy corn, Joseph; it looks like the mutation known as "fasciation" https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=525
 
Joseph Lofthouse
steward
Posts: 4473
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1416
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

R Ranson wrote:I know just about nothing about processing dry corn, except everyone says how easy it is to get off the cob... really?



No!!! Ease of shelling is just one more trait to pay attention to while breeding corn. I have grown way to much corn that was way to hard to remove from the cob. In recent years, ease of shelling has become a PRIMARY selection criteria for me. These days I'm pretty much not saving seed from any cob that is difficult to shell, regardless of how brilliant the other characteristics of the plant are. I haven't gone all the way to saving only "easy shelling" cobs, but I'm moving more that direction all the time.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1308
Location: RRV of da Nort
138
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That corn of Joseph's looks like a "tissue mix" of tassel and cob. If I were to guess, I'd say it may be a "homeotic" mutant, where one of the major genes in the organ-determining pathway became mutated in that particular plant. The effect is to send the organ development program into somewhat disarray. There are some genes which contain hot-spots for mutation and one will tend to find those mutants more frequently in their fields than other mutants. (credit for the photo: Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol. 58, No. 5, pp. 909–916, 2007)
MaizeMutants.JPG
[Thumbnail for MaizeMutants.JPG]
 
Can you really tell me that we aren't dealing with suspicious baked goods? And then there is this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!