[UPDATE] Tallahassee, FL - June 15, 2012 - 6:04pm
Community members get the opportunity to learn how plant genome research relates to issues of public interest.
In most mazes, you have to find your way own through.
But, high schoolers in the FAMU Forestry and Conservation Education summer program will guide you through this one.
One student points out one of the mutated plants. She says, "People call it the ghost plant. It has the purple-ish, pinkish line that runs through them and it has fluorescent yellow on the outside."
FAMU and FSU's plant genome project opened the corn field to the public to show the nearly 100 different mutants of maize, which illustrates genetic control and development.
FSU Biology Professor Hank Bass says, "When you break a gene, you actually learn a lot about what it does. So, if you take an organism and compare it to a car: if you take the wheels off a car, then you learn that the wheels help the car go. When you take a gene out of a plant, and you look at what's wrong with that plant, it tells you what the function of the gene is."
One corn plant is called the Lazy Plant because it cannot grow upright. In fact, you can't even stand it up. Many people say it's their favorite because it looks "cool" lying to the side. But, professors say it can actually help scientists study the effect of gravity on plants.
FSU Student Kaley Canova says, "It's really good for the community because we get to study a lot of the stuff in the classroom and see it come to life."
Professors say they hope the mutants will also blossom into a career choice for the students.
The maze is open to the public again Saturday, June 16th from 8 to 11 a.m. The field is located at 2606 Mission Road.
'AMAIZING' CORN MAZE TO ILLUSTRATE GENE FUNCTION AND MAPPING
As a way to illustrate gene function and mapping, the public is invited to stroll through a cornfield maze that represents the maize genome.
The Maize-10-Maze Public Field Day
There will be 10 rows of corn - one for each of the 10 chromosomes of corn. Within the 10 rows, there will be nearly 100 different naturally occurring mutants of maize that illustrate genetic control of plant growth and development. Mutants mapped to chromosome 1 will be in row 1, those mapped to chromosome 2 will be in row 2, and so forth.
The maze will be open:
FRIDAY, JUNE 15 (9 A.M. - NOON)
SATURDAY, JUNE 16 (8 - 11 A.M.)
MISSION ROAD RESEARCH FACILITY
2606 MISSION ROAD
The self-guided public tour of this representation of the maize genome is intended to raise public awareness of how plant genome research relates to issues of public interest, including food production and renewable energy.
High school student-participants in the FAMU Forestry and Conservation Education(FACE) summer program will serve as hosts.
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