Roots are a key to drought-tolerant maize

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Study headed by the University of Bonn analyses 9,000 varieties of maize around the world

The map of the USA shows: - The drier the region, the fewer seminal roots the ma
The map of the USA shows: - The drier the region, the fewer seminal roots the maize varieties cultivated there had on average (black figure; the pie chart shows the proportion of varieties with up to one seminal root in yellow, with up to three seminal roots in green and with more than three seminal roots in blue). Image: AG Hochholdinger/Uni Bonn all’images in original size .
Maize can grow successfully in very different local conditions. An international study headed by the University of Bonn has now demonstrated the important role of the plant root system. The researchers analyzed more than 9,000 varieties in the study and were able to show that their roots varied considerably - depending on how dry the location is where each variety was cultivated. They were also able to identify an important gene that plays a role in the plant’s ability to adapt. This gene could be the key to developing varieties of maize that cope better with climate change. ...
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