|Zea diploperennis, Conservatoire botanique national de Brest, France, June 2007|
Zea diploperennis, the diploperennial teosinte, is a species of grass (family: Poaceae) in the genus Zea and a teosinte (wild relative of maize or corn). It is perennial. Virtually all populations of this teosinte are either threatened or endangered: Z. diploperennis exists in an area of only a few square miles. The Mexican and Nicaraguan governments have taken action in recent years to protect wild teosinte populations, using both in situ and ex situ conservation methods. Currently, a large amount of scientific interest exists in conferring beneficial teosinte traits, such as insect resistance, perennialism, and flood tolerance, to cultivated maize lines, although this is very difficult due to linked deleterious teosinte traits.
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