Probably everyone is at least somewhat driven to try to understand the dynamics of something. It is part of living. Discerning aspects of human behavior is done by everyone but digging deeper into the dynamics involved is attractive to some. Mechanically minded individuals are driven to tear apart a machine to understand how it works. Astrophysicists attempt to understand the dynamics of galaxies within our universe. Biologists are interested in the interactions of factors involved in living things. Most have varying drive to dig deeper within one of these topics but only can afford time to survey the surface of the other topics.
Those of us involved in agriculture certainly fit that description. While each of us have a specialty, the corn grower is managing mechanics, weather, soil structure, biology, human behavior and economics. Most have a deeper interest in one of these aspects of farming but also must have some understanding of each subject to gain success in their occupation.
That person, or those persons, that several thousand years ago discovered the mutant in Teosinte with seed (fruit) that remained attached to the plant instead of scattering to the ground was interested enough to gather those seed for planting the next season. Others driven by curiosity and practical economics carried future mutants from that original source in Central America to its eventual distribution into all continents. Later specialists, partially inspired by their own interests, developed machinery to make the plant more efficient. Those attracted to the diversity within the corn genome emphasized selecting varieties to meet various economic uses.
Genetic diversity in Zea mays has resulted in specialists studying basic aspects of biology, environment, human nutrition, engineering and economics. It also has promoted generalists who attempt to coordinate the knowledge gained by the specialists into efficient farm operation. This species has made multiple contributions to humans beyond the food value.
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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.