A CIMMYT team donned their expedition gear in November 2009 and set off to collect samples of teosinte, a wild relative of maize that is disappearing. The team obtained a special permit from the Mexican Department of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) to monitor and gather annual teosinte samples from known locations in the Balsa river regions of Guerrero and Michoacán and the central plateau regions of Jalisco and Guanajuato.
During their exploration, scientists stumbled upon what they believe to be the perennial teosinte Zea diploperennis near Uruapan, Michoacán. Samples were taken for further analysis. As of now, the only known natural population of this plant is in the Sierra de Manantlán Biosphere Reserve, in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.