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Corn Flowers and Hybrid Seeds

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An explanation of how hybrid corn is grown, and how the monoecious nature of corn is used to manipulate the cross-breeding.

Lesson Objectives

Don Lee
Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

Lesson Objectives

1. Identify the hybrid seed producer's job as growing the parent lines that the plant breeder has discovered to make hybrid seed that farmers would want to grow.
2. Describe how the monoecious flowers of a large number of male and female parent plants can be manipulated in a growing season in an efficient manner.
3. Predict the correct way to plant the male and female plants to insure that a farmer’s field makes the most possible hybrid seeds.
4. Outline the  plant/flower manipulations that must be applied to the plants in the hybrid seed producer’s field during the growing season to produce pure hybrid seed.

Development of this lesson was supported in part by the Cooperative State
Research, Education, & Extension Service, U.S. Dept of Agriculture under Agreement Number PX2003-06237 administered by Cornell University, Virginia Tech and the American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC) and in part by the New Mexico and Nebraska Agricultural Experiment Stations. Any opinions,findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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