Author Topic: Flint/Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley  (Read 4601 times)

reed

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #15 on: 2018-11-25, 05:50:25 PM »
I looked back at the GRIN page on the sweet ZC example and think it is saying the maysin is recessive. O'well not a big issue I don't think.

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In the quotes you gave, it was bt and another very closely linked gene that were introgressed into the Zap.
eek! bt, I thought that was only in corn through engineering, not worried though as I'm sure it isn't in the seeds I got.

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From a QTL (quantitative trait locus) study it looks like at least six genes on three different chromosomes were involved.
I kind of suspected that already and not sure if it is good or bad. I'm going on the assumption it is good. I'm wondering if it might even be observable. Pure ZC simply doesn't have worms, they must die on their first taste after hatching. I wonder if the "dosage" for lack of a better term, is less then maybe they will live longer and chew on the tip a little before they croak. If that turned out to be the case I would like to know but I would certainly would want to nip in the bud so as not to foster resistance to the resistance.

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If all high maysin genes are fully recessive, this would mean that the F1 would be sensitive. And so backcrossing to anything sensitive would not allow the resistant trait to appear. You would be able to see resistance appearing only in F2s or backcrosses to Zap, so would need to proceed accordingly.

If all goes well I'll have both F2 and some new F1 seed to plant for the late crop next year. I ought to be able to get some observations and get a better idea of how it will actually works.
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you might have a more sensitive bioassay

There ya go again, making me learn sciencey stuff. "bioassay" an analytical method to determine concentration or potency of a substance by its effect on living cells or tissues
Yep, I think so. I got tons of the worms. Only thing that could go wrong is if some reason they didn't show up. But I can cover that to a degree by also planting some know sensitive variety just to attract them.

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And the complex genetics involved may well lend itself better to the traditional low tech breeding approaches than to anything higher tech that involves identifying all the genes involved. Have at it!
Nope, ain't likely I'll be able to identify particular genes or combinations of genes but I can certainly plant and observe. In a way though, I suppose it's all the same thing.

Just for some insurance I asked the GRIN folks for another sample of the original ZC so I can grow a semi isolated patch to protect my ability to add more back in as necessary. This patch will also supply pollen for the new varieties of flint and flour I'm adding in next year as well as some of the other.

I don't want to risk my supply of the pure stuff till I see resistance in colored ears or in plants that are obviously part ZC and part something else.  Variations of colored shucks and ear shapes will be good sign of crossing other than the resistance.

I still also wonder if those funny looking frizzy silks might be an indicator, I hope so.
   

« Last Edit: 2018-11-25, 05:53:22 PM by reed »

Carol Deppe

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #16 on: 2018-11-25, 07:33:22 PM »
whoops, sorry Reed. It was sh-2, not bt that was introgressed into Zap.

Yeah, I love getting people to learn "sciencey" stuff. But I usually try to sneak it past em without their noticing they've learned anything.  ;D

I think if the frizzy silks went along with high maysin content, one of those papers would have said something about it. It's probably unrelated.




reed

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #17 on: 2018-11-26, 06:56:41 AM »
I found an interesting article that talks about a trait called "salmon silks" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4944406/
It is very lengthy but  the first sentence of the abstract kind of sums it up for my purposes.
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The century-old maize (Zea mays) salmon silks mutation has been linked to the absence of maysin.

I haven't 100% figured out what the salmon silks is but I think it is just pink or red colored silks. If that is the case then it might work as a visual indicator of maysin absence. And if it somehow inhibits or nullifies maysin production then maybe I can increase the chances of maysin producing offspring by avoiding or culling plants with pink or red silks. I might be grasping at straws, only time will tell but I love the idea of a visual hint on how the trait I want is or isn't encouraged. 

reed

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #18 on: 2018-11-28, 02:36:19 AM »
YEA! the folks at GRIN are letting me have another pack of Zap Chico. I'll grow out a nice patch and bank a backup supply of the maysin genes.


Carol Deppe

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #19 on: 2018-11-28, 07:13:10 PM »
Reed, I found a neat recent 2016 paper; don't know if it's the same one you were looking at. It's available in full at http://www.plantcell.org/content/28/6/1297 . Article title is "Identification and Characterization of Maize salmon silks Genes involved in Insecticidal Maysin Biosynthesis." The final author, head of lab, and contact person for the article is Erich Grotewold, at Ohio State. This article, in addition to elucidating the role of the salmon silks genes, gives the entire biochemical pathway for 3-deoxyflavanoid biosynthesis. This is the pathway that produces not just maysin, but also the red pericarp pigments we love so much. The pathway branches, and one branch leads to the red pericarp pigments and another pericarp pigment. The other branch leads to maysin. The pericarp color gene P1 controls both pathways.

There are two different loci, sm1 and sm2, that can give the pinkish salmon silks phenotype. The article demonstrates that these genes control the last two steps in the synthesis of maysin. When either gene is in the recessive configuration, the last two steps in maysin synthesis are blocked. The molecules that build up behind the block are colored, hence the pinkish silks. The article also showed that these two genes are directly controlled by the major pericarp color control gene P1. They aren't linked to P1 or each other.

So what it amounts to is that, yes, any time you see that salmon silks color, presumably you will have no maysin. However, article says the pericarp color gene P1 is epistatic to salmon silks, and it's not clear to me what this means. Maybe it just means if the silks are red, the salmon silks pink would presumably be invisible. Do the pericarp genes control silk color? I don't know. If so, then they would have to be in the right configuration for any color to show in the silks. In addition, not having salmon silks color doesn't mean you will have maysin. Most corn varieties don't have maysin or salmon silks color; there are multiple ways to block maysin synthesis other than the salmon silks steps in the reaction.

A lovely piece of background info. The alleles of the pericarp color gene are  P1-rr, P1- wr, P1-rw, and P1-ww. These designate where the color appears, with the choices being pericarp/glumes-cob, only glums/cob, only pericarp, or neither, respectively.

Here's the link to the lab of Eric Grotewold at Ohio State.  https://eglab.osu.edu/  This gives us a nice photo of the salmon silks corn as well as Eric Grotewold's email address, office and lab phone number, and snail mail address. University breeders are usually easiest to get hold of by emailing and asking your questions. Or arranging time for a phone call. It's usually hard to catch them just cold calling. If it were me, I'd email him and tell him a little about my project, then ask to arrange a phone call day/time and mention all the possible times in the next week or two I would be available.

You might ask him if he thinks you can get the pericarp color genes into a flour corn variety that also included Maysin resistance. Whether the salmon silks always goes with that frizzy silk pattern. Whether he has better sources of maysin resistant material than Zapalito Chico. (The CMMetc folks have done more than a hundred collections of Zap lines from Mexico, and some had much bigger cobs than Zap. We don't normally have access to that stuff except through university breeders. And u breeders have been working with it a while. There may be much improved material you could be working with other than or in addition to Zap. But you'll have your own ideas about what you most want to ask.

If Grotewold didn't think the project would work, I'd do it anyway. However, I might be all the more encouraged to do an additional project too. That is, try to cross the Zap or other source of resistance to a black flour corn, with the idea of developing black, white, and magenta lines. (As best I can tell, magenta is black with a recessive modifier.) Since the black and magenta are aleurone pigments, that's a completely different pathway. Keep the endosperm (flinty layer) white. Flour corns that are magenta are really delicious parching corns. If you had three strains, black, white, and magenta, you could grow adjacent blocks of each. Plant the white in the middle. Then eat where the blocks come together. Use the magenta for parching. More complex than the variable pericarp and solid-ear approach. But if that is impossible because the relevant maysin resistance genes are linked to the pericarp genes, it gives you another approach. And the magenta is an entirely different parched corn flavor than the pericarp-gene based red or red-stripe. Note that in any given cross of a black to a white, magentas may or may not segregate depending upon whether the white carries any of the recessive gene that modifies black to purple. (The aleurone color pigment is the purple gene. I think black is just a whole lot of purple pigment. Black codominant to white.)

If you do get what appears to be better source material with bigger ears for the resistance, you might want to do the crosses to Zap also, as the university breeders might have thrown away some possible genes for resistance that might be useful to you.





« Last Edit: 2018-11-28, 07:30:54 PM by Carol Deppe »

reed

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #20 on: 2018-11-29, 09:21:48 AM »
... This article... gives the entire biochemical pathway for 3-deoxyflavanoid biosynthesis. This is the pathway that produces not just maysin, but also the red pericarp pigments we love so much...
Goodness, I'll have to come back to this post and get into my saved links on info I'v found but for now regarding the quote above I'll mostly just say ;D Also though, I'm guessing and hoping that red doesn't mean just a single shade but maybe a range from pink to dark, and is it too much to hope it also includes red chinmark? If it turned out I had to limit my variable pericarp to just that, I think I could live with it.
« Last Edit: 2018-11-29, 09:30:06 AM by reed »

Andrew Barney

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #21 on: 2018-11-29, 12:30:59 PM »

Here's the link to the lab of Eric Grotewold at Ohio State.  https://eglab.osu.edu/  This gives us a nice photo of the salmon silks corn as well as Eric Grotewold's email address, office and lab phone number, and snail mail address. University breeders are usually easiest to get hold of by emailing and asking your questions. Or arranging time for a phone call. It's usually hard to catch them just cold calling. If it were me, I'd email him and tell him a little about my project, then ask to arrange a phone call day/time and mention all the possible times in the next week or two I would be available.




That is an interesting photo of Salmon silks. I really enjoy bright pink silks myself as opposed to yellow, but I've seen red silks on green stalks and yellow on purple. Not sure if I've ever seen salmon silks, but I've had salmon pollen anthers. It seems like anther color corresponds with kernel color.

Man I really am out of touch with corn info like pericap, alourine, etc. I have no idea what parts those mean. It would be nice if someone started a thread to help teach me.

reed

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #22 on: 2018-11-29, 01:49:34 PM »
Man I really am out of touch with corn info like pericap, alourine, etc. I have no idea what parts those mean. It would be nice if someone started a thread to help teach me.

I know! I know! or at least I think I do. Pericarp is the hard outer layer on the kernel. It comes in a wide range of colors from clear to nearly black. Under that is a thin layer called the aleurone, it also comes in a wide range of colors. Then ya got the endosperm, almost always it is yellow or white but I'v noticed there are different shades of that.

The pericarp is maternal tissue so it is the same on every kernel produced by a single plant (although it can vary some for reasons I don't understand). You gets lots of mixed up colors on an ear because the aleurone and endosperm can vary, A LOT. If you can get rid of all color except pericarp but keep variation for pericarp in the population you can have different colored ears but each individual ear is just one color. That's what Carol did in her Magic Manna and what I hope to do in my corn. Magic Manna has white endosperm and that's what I want too but I suppose if a corn was uniform for yellow endosperm the ears would still be single color but maybe darker looking. 

The photo shows dissected kernels of a corn I named Big Red. It has nearly black pericarp, dark aleurone and varies for endosperm. It is wonderful corn and it is the ear of corn that a few seasons ago get me excited about growing corn again. Unfortunately it is terribly long season and don't think I can use it but I still have about 500 kernels in my freezer as well as whole ears descended from it. The scraped off aleurone may or may not really be that color cause i soaked the kernels in warm water to make it easier to remove the pericarp and the color is water soluble so it may be stained.

Bottom left shows the aleurone in tact and the other two with it scraped off.
« Last Edit: 2018-11-29, 01:54:15 PM by reed »

Carol Deppe

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #23 on: 2018-11-29, 03:54:08 PM »
Good explanation, Reed.

A few details. The floury part of the endosperm is always white. The flinty part can be yellow or white. There isn't much flinty layer in a flour corn. However, where the flint is yellow, the aleurone is clear, and the pericarp is variable, you will have solid ears of red, brown/orange, red and yellow striped, and yellow. And every single kernel will taste awful parched. Yellow in the Flint layer of a flour corn tastes awful parched no matter the pericarp color.

However, yellow flinty layer, clear aleurone, and variable pericarp is great in Flint varieties. You don't parch flint varieties. And the yellow Flint with colored pericarps give spectacular unique flavors when the corn is baked into cornbread. That's what Cascade Ruby-Gold Flint is. It has yellow Flint, clear aleurone, and red, orange, or clear pericarp. So the ears are solid colors of red, orange, or yellow.

Pericarp black is actually just very deep red. In flour corns with clear aleurone and white flinty endosperm, they are the most delicious of all when parched. They are apparently homozygous for red pericarp. The ears are normally only about half the length of heterozygous pericarp red and the other ears. And varieties that are pure for that deep pericarp red are usually very wimpy, hard to grow, with just one small ear per plant. In other words, if you want a vigorous corn with red pericarp, you don't breed for pure red.


Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #24 on: 2018-11-29, 05:43:44 PM »
I grow corn that is far removed from typical.

I see kernels sometimes that  are almost completely purple, inside and out. I save kernels from time to time, but haven't done much breeding with them.

I imported genetics from South America which produce orange (beta-carotene) hard starch instead of yellow (zeaxanthin).

The attached photos show kernels broken open to expose the insides. The high carotene corn pops up yellow. I wonder if the high anthocyanin corns would pop purple?

 
« Last Edit: 2018-11-29, 05:50:56 PM by Joseph Lofthouse »

Andrew Barney

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #25 on: 2018-11-29, 07:13:32 PM »
Cool. Thanks for the input everyone.  I am interested in waxy corn and wonder if the could be new novel uses for it. I don't have any germplasm for it yet,  but I want some.  Perhaps this forum needs a want/request area.

Carol, yes i breed and select for dark purple foliage flint (Indian corn) sometimes when i have space and it is the first breeding project / crop that got me started gardening. I know about the wimpy ears you speak of as my original strain had it and each tiny ear had like 50 layers of husks,  or at least seemed like it, though I am exaggerating a bit. You could call it genetic drag. I now have over come that problem in my current dark purple foliage corn strain as some sort of genetic linkage must have been broken at some point. I am very happy about that.

Joseph,  if you ever run into the "old gold" gene with yellow striped leaves again I would like some seed to try crossing with some purple foliage corn.

Those purple inside kernels sound interesting. You or someone should start a breeding project with them.

I don't grow flour corn as it is too finicky for me, but I really like flint corn a lot. I need some new extra early flint corn genetics though. I'm not happy with my genetic diversity. I need to request some skunk proof corn from Joseph at some point. The teosinte hybrids reed is growing sound promising too. Glad I could help share that germplasm.
« Last Edit: 2018-11-29, 07:17:15 PM by Andrew Barney »

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #26 on: 2018-11-29, 07:46:18 PM »
Joseph,  if you ever run into the "old gold" gene with yellow striped leaves again I would like some seed to try crossing with some purple foliage corn.

That trait is called Japonica. It's easily obtained from seed companies.

Andrew Barney

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #27 on: 2018-11-29, 08:03:13 PM »
That trait is called Japonica. It's easily obtained from seed companies.

No,  meant the gold version, not the pink version. I originally got it from the long island seed project. Never mind, someday i can request it from the Maize Genetic Coop place. I know they have it. I'm pretty sure that is where long island seed originally got it from. It is different than Japonica. It is yellow and was a product of mutation breeding. It is not available from any seed company i know of.

« Last Edit: 2018-11-29, 08:05:09 PM by Andrew Barney »

reed

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #28 on: 2018-11-30, 08:04:12 AM »
Zea Mays is certainly an interesting family of plants and the one that originally brought me to the garden forums and to all the books and blogs where I have learned tons of stuff and found that, like with lots of things, the more I learn the more I realize how little I know. That was six years ago now and along the way I'v changed my plans and goals too many times to count but now I think I'm narrowing it down.

I want field corn that I can sell for ornamental cause that is where the money is. It sells here easily for a dollar an ear and as much as 5 dollars an ear if the woman sticks a ribbon and a couple dry flowers on it and takes it to her flea market booth. More than ten fold what sweet corn sells for and the time window to sell it is weeks or months instead of hours or days.

I want short season so I can breed two generations per year if I want but more importantly so I can plant anytime from April into July and still get a harvest. That gives the ability to recover from a disaster like a hail storm or coon attack. It also allows for staggered plantings of multiple types such as a flint and a flour variety.

And more important than the high profit of selling it as ornamental, I want to be able to eat it. I know I like parched corn especially if it's red but I also want to make corn bread or corn chips or  hominy or who knows what else.

I can hardly believe how lucky I was to discover the Zapalote Chico, thanks to one of Oxbow Farms youtube videos.  The fall army worms in recent years have been arriving sooner and in greater numbers than they used too and have really been cramping my style. Longer season corns can be attacked even if planted early and short season can't be planted late so the only option has been plant short season early. That works but there is no safety net to replant if it becomes necessary. The Zap Chico has numerous other properties I like as well, as shown here. https://www.biodiversidad.gob.mx/usos/maices/grupos/TropicalesPre/Zapalote_Ch.html . And it performed beautifully in my initial trials.

I'm dropping sweet corn almost entirely from my corn projects for the foreseeable future. I got it all out last evening and put some in a tray to germ test. I'll be keeping a little of the more interesting stuff in the freezer and putting the bulk up for trade on HG.

I'm focused now on my two strains of short season, worm resistant corns, one flour, one flint. They will both have a considerable foundation of the Zap Chico. To keep up diversity I'm going to try to cross everything I have to it, one way or the other. Stuff that is to far off what I ultimately want, for example  sweet  or the super long season Big Red will be crossed and crossed again till it starts showing the traits I want. At that point it's pollen will be allowed into the general population. I'm counting on the worms to to assist in identifying the plants they like and the ones they don't.

I'm getting better about staying focused on a particular desired outcome, only thing that has changed from what I'v learned since I started this thread is addition of a flint corn  project. I already have some Bronze Beauty flint which I was going to mix with the flour and sort it all out later but now I think I will keep the two separate from the start. I also have some Cascade Cream Cap which performed pretty well for me a few years ago, much better than the western flour corns.

I'm thinking though some Cascade Ruby Gold might be an excellent choice for the flint side of the project. It has the the short maturity I need and apparently the gene for red pericarp which sounds like it goes hand in hand with maysin production.  I imagine I'll be placing an order for some it pretty soon.
« Last Edit: 2018-11-30, 08:22:23 AM by reed »

Mike Jennings

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #29 on: 2018-12-02, 12:01:53 PM »
The corn I mentioned earlier called Zapalote Chico has the wonderful property of making something called glycoside maysin in it's silks and I confirmed this past season it really really works. Not a single ear of ZC was damaged by the worms. What I don't know is how is maysin inherited? I don't know if it is recessive or dominate or if it transferred only by the mother. 

I want to do the opposite and put the maysin gene(s) into a new variety of flour corn with larger ears and variable for pericarp color. My plan to do that which I think will work, is to just cross the various strains I'm working with and grow the offspring purposely to time maturity with arrival of the worms and then just select from those that are resistant.

I have thought a bit about how to select for maysin production in crosses with ZC. One problem may be that ZC is also supposed to a greater number of husks enclosing the ear (I think Oxbow Farm mentioned that). It seems like that trait may also provide some resistance to ear worms. So, in crosses with ZC, you may not actually know if you are selecting for maysin content in the silks or just for more husks. (Maybe it doesn't matter.)

I rarely get ear worms when I grow corn in my suburban neighborhood. But, when I grew out a bunch of dent corns in a borrowed rural field a few miles away, almost every ear had worm damage -- except for the Virginia Gourdseed. VG has a higher than average husk count and seemed to be very worm resistant. I don't know if it produces maysin.

My other concern with Zapalote Chico (Oxbow Farm shared some with me too), is that it seems more like a dent corn than flour. ZC kernels actually bear some resemblance to gourdseed corn, with a large amount of floury endosperm in the center, but also a pretty thick layer of flinty endosperm around the edges -- unlike a true flour corn. I wonder how difficult it will be to select that little bit of flinty-ness back out of your flour corn. It probably wouldn't hurt much for grinding, hominy, or ornamental purposes, but a little flint may negatively affect parching qualities. But...it might be worth it for the worm resistance.