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Taxonomy of Zea (Gramineae). I. A Subgeneric Classification with Key to Taxa

John F. Doebley and Hugh H. Iltis
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 67, No. 6 (Jul., 1980), pp. 982-993
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2442441
Page Count: 12
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Taxonomy of Zea (Gramineae). I. A Subgeneric Classification with Key to Taxa
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Abstract

The genus Zea is here divided into the Sect. Luxuriantes Doebley & Iltis sect. n., including the perennials Z. diploperennis (2n = 20) and Z. perennis (2n = 40) and the annual Z. luxurians (2n = 20); and Sect. Zea, including the wild Z. mays ssp. parviglumis and Z. mays ssp. mexicana (both 2n = 20), and Z. mays ssp. mays (2n = 20), the highly domesticated and tremendously variable derivate of the latter. This division is verified by a multivariate analysis of a large number of morphological characters of the male inflorescence. Cytogenetic and chemotaxonomic evidence supports the morphological conclusions. A consideration of the phylogeny of Zea within the conceptual framework offered by this new sectioning of the genus points convincingly to annual teosinte (Z. mays ssp. mexicana) as the ancestor of cultivated maize.

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