Corn Breeding: Lessons From the Past Glossary

addition

The movement into or deposition of a quantity of material.

Corn Belt

An agricultural region of the central United States primarily in Iowa and Illinois, but also parts of Indiana, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio.

cross

The deliberate mating of two parental types of organisms in genetic analysis.

cross-pollination

the type of pollination that occurs when pollen from one plant falls on the silks of a different plant.

cross-pollination

The transfer of pollen from an anther of the flower of one plant to a stigma of the flower of another plant.

crossing

The deliberate mating of two parental types of organisms in genetic analysis.

embryo

The undeveloped plant in a seed.

environment

The combinations of all the conditions external to the genome that potentially affect gene expression.

fertilization

The act or process of initiating biological reproduction by pollination.

hybrid

An individual produced by crossing two parents of different genotypes.

hybrid vigor

the phenomenon of a hybrid plant having greater vigor than its parents.

hybrids

Individuals produced by crossing two parents of different genotypes.

inbred

a pure-breeding strain of corn.

inbreeding

a system of mating in which mates are more likely to be related than would occur if mating was random. Self-pollination is an extreme type of inbreeding.

nodes

A joint on a stem where shoots, leaves and flowers arise.

open-pollinated variety

variety of corn that is named for the manner in which seed of the variety is propagated across generations

pollen

Dust-like material produced by the anther (male reproductive structure) that is composed of pollen grains (microgametophytes) which carry the male gametes of seed plants; important in fertilization.

pollination

To transfer pollen from an anther to the stigma of a flower.

progeny

The offspring of an organism.

race

 in which all plants of that class share certain characteristics, such as ear shape and number of kernel rows.

seed

Ripened fertilized ovule of a flowering plant that contains an embryo and normally capable of germination.

selection

A natural or artificial process that favors or induces survival and perpetuation of one kind of organism over others that die or fail to produce offspring.

self-pollination

the type of pollination that occurs when pollen from a single plant falls on the silks of that same plant.

self-pollination

Transfer of pollen from an anther to a stigma of the same flower.

single-cross hybrid

the type of hybrid that is produced when two different inbreds are cross-pollinated.

soil

The top layer of the Earth’s surface, consisting of four major components: air, water, organic matter and mineral matter. There are three categories of soil particles--sand, silt and clay--which are called "soil separates."

variety

Crop plants within a species that have the same genetic composition. Because plants in a variety are usually heterozygous, their offspring will not remain genetically pure (i.e., corn hybrid varieties).

yield potential

The highest yield a plant (hybrid, variety, etc.) is capable of producing when grown in ideal conditions.

Zea mays L.

the scientific name of corn.