Zea mays-Sweet Corn

Zea mays

 "Measure the corn of others with your own bushel."

                                              -Yiddish Proverb               

 What Does Zea mays Mean?                                                            

The word Zea mays comes from two languages. Zea comes from ancient Greek and is a generic name for cereal and grains. Some scientists believe it also means "sustains life." Mays comes from the language Taino, which was spoken by aboriginal groups in the Antilles. It means "life giver." 

Taxonomy of Zea mays                                                                                              

Domain-Eukarya                                                                                                                   Zea mays is in the domain Eukarya because it is multicellular, undergoes mitosis and meiosis, is autotrophic and has a cell wall made of cellulose.                                                               Kingdom-Plantae                                                                                                                     It belongs to the kingdom Plantae because it undergoes photosynthesis and contains chlorophyll.                                                                                                                           Phylum-Magnoliophyta                                                                                                             Sweet corn is included in the phylum Magnoliophyta because it is a flowering plant.                       Class-Liliopsida                                                                                                                       It is in the class Liliopsida because it is a monocot.                                                                    Order-Cyperales                                                                                                                 Zea mays is in the order Cyperales because it contains a single, unilocular ovary which ripens into an indeniscent fruit.                                                                                                           Family-Poaceae                                                                                                                     It belongs to the family Poaceae (grass family) because it is an annual, has alternating leaves which grow off a sheath, its stem is hollow, and has parallel leaf venation. Sweet corn is also known as a cereal grass.                                                                                                                 Genus-Zea                                                                                                                         Zea mays belongs to the genus Zea because it is corn.                                                        Species-Zea mays


Phylogenetic Tree of Zea mays Distant Relatives  
This phylogenetic tree was constructed using a database of 5,279 orthologous protein clusters from the proteomes of the seventeen eukaryotes show in this tree. 
Phylogenetic Tree of Zea mays

Phylogenetic Tree of the Five Species of Zea (Zea mays closest relatives) 
This phylogenetic tree was constructed by using the different ages of each species of Zea.                             

History of Corn                                                                                                                  

Christopher Columbus' ShipCorn cultivation gradually expanded in the Americas to large urbanized civilizations, such as the Aztecs, the Mayas and the Incas. By the 1400's corn was grown as far north as Canada and as far south as Argentina and Chile. Europeans did not discover corn until 1492 when Christopher Columbus brought corn seeds back to Spain from Cuba. By the late 1400's corn was a common crop in Africa, Asia, southern Europe and the Middle East. Corn was a staple food in the American Colonies during the 1600's and 1700's. They learned to grow corn from the Native Americans. Corn became a major commercial crop during the 1800's.



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