High Anthocyanin Purple Foliage Corn / Maize Improvement
The first main goals are to breed maize / corn that has lots of purple anthocyanins in the foliage, stems, leaves, cobs, and husks (and possibly in the kernels as well). The second main goals are to eliminate any puny cobs that have an extraneous amount of husks which is common in purple foliage maize. My Colorado adapted landrace already should have these puny cobs eliminated. However it is always good to introduce new genetics periodically. I have a small sample of other purple foliage corn that is from ARS GRIN that should also have good genetics to fold in. I also have some old purple pod corn that i would like grown out that maybe could be mixed in.
As a side note, i have once observed this corn of mine to occasionally have air roots exuding a sappy substance. From modern research we now know these corn types exude a sugary sap to feed nitrogen fixing bacteria. Any of these should be noted and saved separately for a sub-breeding project!
My corn was also originally selected to thrive in extra early Northern Colorado spring plantings on April 1st, much earlier than our last expected frost. When planted with other Indian corn and sweet corn varieties, mine would always survive fine even with early spring snow, while the other corn varieties would die. I have not continued to put this selection pressure on this variety, but i would like to someday. This landrace may still have this unusual cold tolerance ability, which is probably related to the high anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are known to help keep plants alive in cold weather and help provide a small amount of energy much like chlorophyll.
The husks and cobs can be boiled in water to produce a dark anthocyanin water. This may be able to used for natural fabric dying or maize morado like drinks or natural food coloring.
Some of my most successful and ambitious projects involve breeding a watermelon landrace for northern Colorado. Experimenting with domestic watermelon x citron-melon hybrids, growing and adapting various teosinte species to colorado, growing teosinte-corn hybrids, breeding red-podded peas, and breeding with domestic x wild tomato crosses.
Since i already have lots of seed for my own highly selected purple foliage corn, but i do not currently have enough room or time to dedicate to it, i figured i would offer it up here on the EFN to those with similar passions and interests. Perhaps together we can accomplish more than what i can accomplish on my own. Other odd projects of mine may follow in the near future.