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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory » Research » Research Project #430945

Research Project: Adaptation of Crops to Increased Carbon Dioxide and Warming

Location: Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory

2017 Annual Report


1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Objective 1. Compare diverse cultivars of dry beans and soybeans for molecular, biochemical, physiological, and yield responses to elevated carbon dioxide combined with above optimal air temperatures, using indoor chambers. (NP 216 Action Plan Component 5) Objective 2. For locally adapted soybean and wheat cultivars, determine whether cultivar differences in effects of carbon dioxide concentration on yield in the field correlate with responses of flowering phenology or tillering to elevated carbon dioxide. (NP 216 Action Plan Component 5) Objective 3. Experimentally determine for soybeans, rice and wheat and some economically important weeds how much the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased crop yields and weed growth since 1960. (NP 216 Action Plan Component 5)


1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Research will focus on determining how rising temperature alters responses of crop and weed physiology, growth, and product quality to elevated carbon dioxide. Differences among genotypes within several crop species in responses to elevated carbon dioxide and temperature will be assessed to identify traits which would help to adapt crops to these global change conditions. Responses of weeds in a locally and nationally important crop system will be evaluated to determine if rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature will increase their impact on crop yields and their resistance to control by glyphosate, a popular herbicide. Work will be conducted in controlled environment chambers and in field plots with open top chambers and with a free air carbon dioxide enrichment system.


3. Progress Report:
Began evaluation of the growth and caffeine response of Coffea arabica and Coffea robusta lines to recent and projected CO2 increases. Continued testing of rice lines to assess intraspecific variability of seed protein in response to recent and projected CO2 increases. Current field tests with soybean, wheat and rice cultivars used in yield trials in the 1960’s are ongoing in order to quantify potential yield increases that have already occurred due to the recent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Completed model relating rising minimum (winter) temperatures to increased pesticide use for GMO soybean grown along a latitudinal gradient in the mid-western United States. Completed field tests of yield responses of spring wheat to elevated CO2. A nutritional evaluation of these lines is ongoing. Completed analysis of genetically diverse wild and cultivated rice lines for yield responses to recent and projected carbon dioxide. Completed study demonstrating that yield stimulation by elevated CO2 among locally adapted soybean cultivars increased with the delay in the transition from vegetative to reproductive growth, which varied greatly among the cultivars.


4. Accomplishments
1. Screening soybean for drought tolerance. Recent USDA ARS research indicates that screening soybean lines for drought resistance using carbon isotope discrimination or mesophyll conductance is problematic. Rather, direct measurements of water use applied to existing genetic variation will be needed in order to select for drought tolerance.

2. Rising carbon dioxide and rice nutrition. Working with researchers in China and Japan, USDA-ARS scientists demonstrated that the nutritional integrity (protein, vitamins and micro-nutrients) of a genetically diverse set of rice lines, including Japonica, Indica and hybrids were negatively impacted by carbon dioxide concentrations likely to occur this century. These data, when applied to the ten countries that consume the most rice as part of their daily caloric supply, indicate that the health impacts of increasing atmospheric CO2 on nutritional deficits may be substantial, especially for poor populations who depend on rice as their primary food source.

3. Climate change and potato metabolites. Water stress effects were evaluated as a function of current and projected carbon dioxide for two varieties of potato that differed in drought tolerance. Leaf metabolites, important to leaf chemistry and plant survival, differed not only as a function of drought, but also in response to future carbon dioxide levels. These data suggest that sufficient variation among potato lines could be used to develop potatoes that are better adapted to future climates.

4. CO2 impacts on flowering time affect yield responses in soybeans. There has been an extensive search for plant traits which affect how much crop yields increase at elevated carbon dioxide concentrations. Identification of such traits would aid in adapting crops to future climates. Research at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) has found that cultivars even within the same Maturity Group differ in the extent to which elevated carbon dioxide delays the transition from vegetative to reproductive growth in soybean. A later transition time allows more main stem pods to develop, and increases the stimulation in yield.

5. Rising CO2 can alter peanut quality and increase allergen content. Peanut varieties were compared to determine the basis for the variation in growth and yield in response to rising CO2 levels. Yield for "Virginia Jumbo" showed a consistently greater increase relative to "Georgia Green" in response to elevated CO2. Also resulted in a significant increase in the concentration of Ara h 1, a known peanut allergen Ara h 1. While selection for CO2 response is a valuable trait for increasing economic production, food safety concerns should also be considered in future peanut breeding.

6. Future climates may negatively affect soybean seed quality. Soybean plants were grown at low (22/18ºC), optimal (28/24ºC) and high (36/32ºC) growth temperatures. Fifty one seed quality components were measured at four time points during maturation. About 80% of seed components were abundant in young seeds and decreased to very low levels in mature seeds. Air temperature and CO2 enrichment affected conditions developing soybean seeds. These environmental treatments mostly affected components of young soybean seeds. Elevated growth temperatures increased shikimate, pinitol and oleate levels in mature seeds.


Review Publications
Blumenthal, D.M., Kray, J.A., Ortmans, W., Ziska, L.H., Pendall, E.P. 2016. Cheatgrass is favored by warming but not CO2 enrichment in a semi-arid grassland. Global Change Biology. 22:3026-3038. doi:10.111/gcb.13278.

Singh, S.K., Barnaby, J.Y., Reddy, V., Sicher Jr, R.C. 2016. Varying response of the concentration and content of soybean seed mineral elements, carbohydrates, organic acids, amino acids, protein, and oil to phosphorus starvation and CO2 enrichment. Frontiers in Plant Science. 7(1967):1-13. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2016-01967.

Wang, D.R., Bunce, J.A., Tomecek, M.B., Gealy, D.R., McClung, A.M., McCouch, S.R., Ziska, L.H. 2016. Evidence for divergence of response in Indica, Japonica, and wild rice to high CO2 x temperature interaction. Global Change Biology. 22:3026-3038. doi:10.1111/gcb.13279.

Xu, G., Singh, S., Barnaby, J.Y., Buyer, J.S., Reddy, V., Sicher Jr, R.C. 2016. Effects of growth temperature and carbon dioxide enrichment on soybean seed components at different stages of development. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. 108: 313-322.

Xu, G., Singh, S., Reddy, V., Barnaby, J.Y., Sicher Jr, R.C., Li, T. 2016. Soybean grown under elevated CO2 benefits the most at low temperature than at high temperature stress: varying response of photosynthetic limitations, leaf metabolites, growth, and seed yield. Journal of Plant Physiology. 205:20-32. doi: 10.1016j.jplph.2016.08.003.

Ziska, L.H., Barnaby, J., Tomecek, M.B., Beggs, P.J. 2016. Cultivar specific changes in peanut (Arachis hypogae L.) yield, biomass, and allergenicity in response to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Crop Science. 56:2766-2774.

Ziska, L.H., Mcconnell, L.L. 2015. Climate change, carbon dioxide, and pest biology: Monitor, mitigate, manage. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 64:6-12.

Ziska, L.H. 2016. The role of climate change and increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide on weed management: Herbicide Efficacy. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 231: 304-309.

Bunce, J.A. 2016. Light dependence of carboxylation capacity for C3 photosynthesis models. Photosynthetica. 54:484-490.

Bunce, J.A. 2016. Variable responses to CO2 of the duration of vegetative growth within maturity group IV soybeans. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 7:1759-1764.

Goyal, R.K., Fatima, T., Topuz, M., Bernadec, A., Sicher Jr, R.C., Handa, A.K., Mattoo, A.K. 2016. Pathogenesis-related protein 1b1 (PR1b1) is a major tomato fruit protein responsive to chilling temperature and upregulated in high polyamine transgenic genotypes. Frontiers in Plant Science. 7:901.