Submitted to: Crop Adaptation to Climate Change
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 30, 2010
Publication Date: October 1, 2011
Citation: Westgate, M.E., Hatfield, J.L. 2011. Genetic adjustment to changing climates: MAIZE. In: Yadov, S.S., Redden, R.J., Hatfield, J.L., Lotze-Campen, H., Hall, A., editors. Crop Adaptation to Climate Change. Wiley-Blackwell, United Kingdom. p. 314-325.
The prospects for more widespread and frequent drought in the near future are placing considerable pressure on maize breeding programs to develop more drought tolerant germplasm. Despite the complexity of the plant’s responses to water limited conditions, rational application of molecular/genomic approaches and high-throughput phenotyping tools holds promise for achieving major genetic improvements in the drought tolerance of this important crop. Reproductive development also is especially sensitive to high temperatures that typically accompany drought. Evaluation of germplasm to cope with these extremes will be necessary to continue the requisite increases in yields and yield stability needed to feed an expanding global population. Although the tools to achieve these goals are available, their fruitful application will require enhanced interactions among physiologists, geneticists, and molecular biologists.