Characterising drought stress in maize

Climate change will alter the timing and magnitude of drought stress experienced by crops.

In this research, TIA's Dr Matt Harrison and colleagues used novel advances in the classification of drought to characterise stress patterns experienced by maize crops, and then determined the influence of different crop traits on yield.

It was revealed that the main stress patterns occurring today will also be those most prevalent under 2050 conditions.

Segregating stress patterns into groups revealed that trait manipulation under current climates will have a similar impact on yields as that in future.

These results have ramifications for genetic and physiological studies examining plant responses to environmental stress.


Harrison, M. T., Tardieu, F., Dong, Z., Messina, C. D. and Hammer, G. L. (2014), Characterizing drought stress and trait influence on maize yield under current and future conditions. Glob Change Biol, 20: 867–878. doi:10.1111/gcb.12381

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Published on: 09 Oct 2015 2:05pm