The spirit of maize cooperation

What is a Maize Cooperator?

Maize Cooperators are people who share an interest in maize genetics, genomics, and breeding research, and who embrace collaboration and cooperation through sharing published and unpublished materials, data, and ideas. The maize research community has a rich history of cooperation (see timeline below). This spirit began in the 1920s when researchers would hold "cornfabs" to share ideas. In 1929 Rollins A. Emerson, his student George Beadle, and Professor Allan C. Fraser, sent a letter sharing both published and unpublished maize linkage data. This single example of data sharing has led to a world-wide community of thousands of maize cooperators and several free public resources and leadership committees to help organize the collaborative efforts and promote maize research. These resources include:

🌽 Maize Genetics Executive Committee (MGEC): The MGEC is a group of elected and appointed members who serve the Maize-Cooperator community by identifying both the needs and opportunities of the broader group, and communicating this information to the broadest possible life science community. This community includes scientists, funding sources for scientists, and the end users for the accomplishments of maize genetics, from farmers to consumers. The MGEC has also been active in securing funds for maize genetics conferences and a new Research Coordination Network aimed at enhancing the breadth, vibrancy, and interactiveness of our community.

🌽 Maize Genetics Conference Steering Committee (MGCSC): The Maize Genetics Conference Steering Committee is responsible for the organization, content, and execution of the Annual Maize Genetics Conference (MGC). The MGCSC works with the Maize Genetics Executive Committee to facilitate communication of community-based issues through the MGC.

🌽 Maize Nomenclature Committee: This committee establishes nomenclature guidelines for the consistent naming of data types (e.g. genes, genomes, gene models, etc.) within the maize community. These nomenclature guidelines are used at MaizeGDB and are strongly encouraged when publishing on maize data sets.

🌽 Maize Genetics Conference: The annual Maize Genetics Conference was started in 1959 to share ideas and data. The conference is organized by the Maize Genetics Conference Steering Committee (MGCSC), and is held annually in March. Most conferences are in the United States, but over the last 15 years we have also met in Mexico City, Italy, China, and France.

🌽  Maize News Letter: Emerson, Beadle's, and Fraser's communication is recognized as the first Maize Genetics Cooperation News Letter (MNL). The MNL has been published since 1929 as a collection of notes and information on working research intended to be shared throughout the maize research community. Researchers wishing to contribute to the MNL may submit their work here.

🌽  Maize Genetics Cooperation Stock Center: The USDA-ARS funds a national public resource that serves the maize research community by collecting, maintaining, and distributing seeds of maize genetic stocks.

🌽 Maize Genetics and Genomics Database (MaizeGDB): The first Maize Genome database was established in 1991 to facilitate communication and data access. The current USDA-ARS database, MaizeGDB, is a community-driven informatics service to maize researchers. It hosts the community database allowing researchers to submit, query, integrate, and visualize data sets for over 15 different data types. MaizeGDB also serves as the community hub for Maize Cooperators. Two groups that provide service to MaizeGDB are the MaizeGDB Working Group and the MaizeGDB Editorial Board. The Working group is comprised of a wide variety of maize cooperators who provide overall guidance and oversight to the MaizeGDB project. The Editorial Board recommends noteworthy maize primary literature on a monthly basis. Data found in the literature are manually curated into the MaizeGDB database.

What are the privileges of being a Maize Cooperator?

Although all data on MaizeGDB are public, Maize Cooperators are added to both the MaizeGDB Person Page and the Cooperator mailing list. In this way, they receive information about the MGC and their opinion is sought in surveys from the MGEC about prioritizing research and resolving problems of common interest. Also, the listing of a Maize Cooperator on the MaizeGDB Person Page allows peers and potential collaborators to learn more about common research interests and current location. Networks of interested people can form more readily for data sharing and possible future-funded collaborations. In addition, Maize Cooperators are eligible to vote for members of the MGEC and to nominate colleagues for community awards (for which they themselves are also eligible), and to nominate members to the MGCSC (or to volunteer to serve themselves). Members also gain an opportunity to serve on diverse committees, which will aid both the overall group and recognition of the cooperator themself.

What are the expectations of being a Maize Cooperator?

Maize cooperators are encouraged to share ideas, data, and materials with each other and publically through public resources using community nomenclature and standards. Maize Cooperators are expected to work collaboratively and promote an open scientific environment that provides equal opportunities, treatment, and respect for all participants, and is free of harassment and discrimination. Maize Cooperators are a community that discusses and debates relevant scientific topics and provides both positive encouragement and respectful constructive feedback.

How do I subscribe/unsubscribe to the Maize Cooperator list?

MaizeGDB handles the membership listing for Maize Cooperators. There are generally three ways to become a Maize Cooperator:

  1. Attend a Maize Genetics Conference. All MGC attendees are added to the listing of Maize Cooperators.
  2. Based on past research and publications, some individuals are invited to become Maize Cooperators.
  3. Request membership as a Maize Cooperator. The recently initiated Research Coordination Network for maize is seeking broader participation. Click the link below to sign up to become a maize cooperator.
  4. Submit a report to the MNL

Sign up for Free

To unsubscribe, click the button below to search for and update your MaizeGDB Person record. You will be able to set your "Cooperator" status to "NO", which will remove all of the emails attached to your person record from the list. A curator will fulfill the request and send you a confirmation once it is completed. Please note that unsubscribing will not automatically remove your person record from MaizeGDB as those can be linked to various other records in the database.

Unregister from the maize cooperator list