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Maize Evolution from 500 B. C. to the Present

Robert McK. Bird
Biotropica
Vol. 12, No. 1 (Mar., 1980), pp. 30-41
DOI: 10.2307/2387771
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2387771
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Maize Evolution from 500 B. C. to the Present
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Abstract

Variation in modern maize relates to recent and ancient cultural events. Large complexes of maize races are usually characteristic of certain cultural regions and help to define boundaries and histories. Most of the regions were established by 2000 years ago; clear differentiation of maize must have also occurred by then. Twenty-four racial complexes, numerous sub-complexes, and six regions have been defined here and elsewhere. Most of the complexes seem descended from seven ancestral types plus continual teosinte introgression. Spreading and interaction of these ancient types has had as important consequences as their isolation within regions. Testing of the component hypotheses will be done through continued interdisciplinary study.

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