Donald F. Jones

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Donald Forsha Jones
Born(1890-04-16)April 16, 1890
DiedJune 19, 1963(1963-06-19) (aged 73)
NationalityUnited States
Scientific career
InstitutionsConnecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven
Doctoral advisorEdward M. East

Donald Forsha Jones (April 16, 1890 – June 19, 1963) was a United States maize geneticist and practical corn breeder at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven.[1] Beginning at the station in 1914, he made high-yielding hybrid corn practical by his invention of the double-cross hybrid.[2]

In Jones' method, four inbred corn lines are used. The seed from two initial crosses are used to grow up parental hybrids for the production fields. The production fields yield seed in sufficient quantity to make the scheme practical. Until Jones invented the double-cross method, the yield from the parent lines (the inbreds) was insufficient to allow practical production of hybrid corn seed.[2]

Jones’ work received significant public attention and was used to make the first commercial hybrid corn in the 1920s.[1] He was the sole geneticist at the Connecticut Station from 1915 until 1921, when Paul Mangelsdorf became his assistant there. Jones was the president of the Genetics Society of America in 1935.[3] He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1934, and to the National Academy of Sciences in 1939.[4]


  • Jones, D F (1944), "Growth Changes in Maize Endosperm Associated with the Relocation of Chromosome Parts.", Genetics (published September 1944), 29 (5), pp. 420–427, PMC 1209256, PMID 17247130
  • Jones, D F (1939), "Continued Inbreeding in Maize.", Genetics (published June 1939), 24 (4), pp. 462–473, PMC 1209049, PMID 17246933
  • Jones, D F (1936), "The Mutation Rate in Somatic Cells of Maize.", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (published November 1936), 22 (11), pp. 645–648, doi:10.1073/pnas.22.11.645, PMC 1076832, PMID 16577742
  • Jones, D F (1934), "Unisexual Maize Plants and Their Bearing on Sex Differentiation in Other Plants and in Animals.", Genetics (published November 1934), 19 (6), pp. 552–567, PMC 1208513, PMID 17246737
  • Jones, D F (1934), "Unisexual Maize Plants and Their Relation to Dioecism in Other Organisms.", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (published January 1934), 20 (1), pp. 39–41, doi:10.1073/pnas.20.1.39, PMC 1076336, PMID 16587838
  • Jones, D F (1924), "The Attainment of Homozygosity in Inbred Strains of Maize.", Genetics (published September 1924), 9 (5), pp. 405–418, PMC 1200833, PMID 17246048
  • Jones, D F (1919), "Selection of Pseudo-Starchy Endosperm in Maize.", Genetics (published July 1919), 4 (4), pp. 364–393, PMC 1200466, PMID 17245932


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