I.  Foreword

The Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter exists for the benefit of the maize community as an informal vehicle for communication. Its inception and continuation has been to foster cooperation among those interested in investigating maize. This cooperation has distinguished our field from others and as a consequence has moved it forward at a pace greater than would have occurred otherwise. Your submissions are encouraged to disseminate knowledge about our field that might otherwise go unrecorded.

During the past two years, maize has emerged as the highest produced crop worldwide based on total metric tonnage according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. While crop diversity is to be encouraged, this fact illustrates the importance of our endeavors to learn about the maize plant. Efforts to sequence the maize genome are underway and improved methods of transformation have been published. These developments portend exciting times ahead for maize biology.

Because maize is both a commercial species and a genetic model system, the danger exists that the sharing of research materials might be diminished. It is imperative for us to work together to prevent this from occurring. Certainly, basic findings should be transferred to the industrial sector and basic advances in industry should be shared with the academic community for the benefit of both. Published materials must be shared for research purposes with the only restriction being against commercial use.

We remind the readers that contributions to the Newsletter do not constitute formal publications. Citations to them should be accompanied by permission from the authors if at all possible. Notes can be submitted at any time and are entered into MaizeDB. The deadline for the next print copy, volume 78, is January 1, 2004. Electronic submission is encouraged by sending your contributions as attachments, or as text of an email, to Newsletter@chaco.agron.missouri.edu. Submissions must require minimal editing to be accepted.

We encourage the community to carry studies of general scientific interest to the formal literature. However, there is a great need to share technical tips, protocols, mutant descriptions, map information, ideas and other isolated information useful in the lab and field.

As in the past, Shirley Kowalewski has been responsible for assembly and correcting of the copy. She has performed this task with speed, precision and a great sense of humor. The maize community owes her much gratitude for her continued service in this capacity.

Mary Polacco
James A. Birchler

Please Note: Notes submitted to the Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter may be cited only with consent of the authors.

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