Teosinte Comparison (image) Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Caption Corn's wild ancestor, teosinte, is shown growing under modern (chamber on the left) and under past (chamber on the right) climate conditions. Smithsonian scientists Dolores Piperno (right) and Irene Holst (left) with Klaus Winter and Owen McMillan (not shown) wondered if teosinte might show phenotypic plasticity -- change its growth form -- when exposed to different environmental conditions. Credit STRI photographer, Sean Mattson Usage Restrictions Credit STRI Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.