Corn hasn’t always been the sweet, juicy delight that we know today. And, without adapting to a rapidly changing climate, it is at risk of losing its place as a food staple. Putting together a plant is a genetic puzzle, with hundreds of genes working together as it grows. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) Professor David Jackson worked with Associate Professor Jesse Gillis to study genes involved in corn development. Their teams analyzed thousands of individual cells that make up the developing corn ear. They created the first anatomical map that shows where and when important genes turn on and off during key steps in development. This map is an important tool for growing better crops.