Corn growth is done by enlargement of cells, often with the assistance of water pressure before the cell walls have solidified and by cell duplication. Cell division is is a remarkable process that first requires the duplication of the chromosomes within the nucleus by a process called mitosis. This delicate process should result in exact duplication of each chromosome pair, followed by new membranes forming around each set of 10 chromosomes. This process is called mitosis is nicely described and illustrated in https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/mitosis-and-cell-division-205.
This process is not mutation proof. During the chromosome duplication process a segment of a DNA string may not reattach properly, resulting in an important expression of a trait to be changed or missing in the resulting cells. Because this new cell and other cells duplicated from this mutated cell will likely contain the same mutation it may become evident to our eyes like a long non- pigmented streak in a corn leaf. Most such mutations are hidden from our eyes and have minor affect on the plant performance.
Mitosis in a corn plant occurs mostly in the root and shoot tips from the embryo stage completion of shoot and tassel formation. Another remarkable process occurring mostly out of site in the corn field.
About Corn Journal
The purpose of this blog is to share perspectives of the biology of corn, its seed and diseases in a mix of technical and not so technical terms with all who are interested in this major crop. With more technical references to any of the topics easily available on the web with a search of key words, the blog will rarely cite references but will attempt to be accurate. Comments are welcome but will be screened before publishing. Comments and questions directed to the author by emails are encouraged.