Regularity: Regularly occurring
Catalog Number: US 727077
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Card file verified by examination of alleged type specimen
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): A. S. Hitchcock
Year Collected: 1910
Locality: About 1 mi S of Py Station, Zapotlan., Jalisco, Mexico, North America
Elevation (m): 1524 to 1524
- Holotype: Hitchcock, A. S. 1922. J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 12: 207.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Zea perennis
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Zea perennis
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable
Z. perennis is one of the two perennial species in the genus Zea. The other perennial, Z. diploperennis, is the sister taxa of Z. perennis. Those two species also form a clade with Z. luxurians. Together the three species make up the Luxuriantes section in the genus Zea. Z. perennis is the sole tetraploid in the genus and fertile hybrids with diploid "Zea" are rare. Ribosomal ITS evidence suggested introgression between Z perennis and Z mays that must have come from either crossing the ploidy barrier or been from the diploid ancestral pool. Z perennis is generally considered to be an autotetraploid from some ancestral population of Z diploperennis 
Due to the economic importance of maize, there is significant scientific interest in using the genes of the other Zea species for crop improvement. Z. perennis is of particular interest because of the potential for maize to become a perennial crop. However, there has been difficulty in using genes from Z. perennis in Z. mays mays for crop improvement because the genes used often contain unwanted teosinte traits. Z. perennis is tropical and non-winter hardy, which has led to problems in using its genes to make a perennial form of maize. In order to overcome this, breeding efforts have focused on deeper rhizomes that can survive below the frost line.
- "GRIN Species Records of Zea". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2010-11-06.[dead link]
- Doebley, J. (1990). Molecular Systematics of Zea (Gramineae). Maydica, (35), 143–150.
- Buckler, E. S., & Holtsford, T. P. (1996). Zea systematics: ribosomal ITS evidence. Molecular biology and evolution, 13(4), 612–22.
- Jackson, W., & Kirschenmann, F. (2009). A 50-Year Farm Bill. The Land Institute.
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Considered exotic in North America (23 Mar 94)
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