Marcus Rhoades, preferential segregation and meiotic drive

Birchler, JAD, R. K.; Doebley, J. F.,  Genetics,  164:835-841. 2003.

LONG before microarray biologists coined and promoted the term “discovery science,” maize geneticists were avid practitioners of this mode of investigation. In fact, one might say that for a number of years, the field of maize genetics basically operated as discovery science. Many have speculated about why maize remains a model organism for genetic analysis, given its long life cycle relative to other species. It has many virtues, sometimes little understood or appreciated by outsiders, but the maize geneticist’s style of science devoted to discovery and an unusually strong commitment to cooperation probably contributes to this trend. One of the great practitioners of this style of science was Marcus Rhoades (Figure 1), who often advised beginning graduate students: “Just get in the lab and start to work; you can’t help but find something.” “What are the facts?” was his common refrain to model building and theorizing. Along with his penchant for discovery was a dogged experimentalist attack to explore the parameters and dimensions of a new finding.