Drought Resistant Crops
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Drought Resistant Crops

Researchers from The Australian National University, ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, and CSIRO Agriculture and Food have developed a new method to identify drought-resistant wheat quickly and accurately.

Lead researchers Dr. Arun Yadav and Dr. Adam Carroll said selecting wheat that can grow better during short- to medium-term drought is crucial to help fight food insecurity ascross the globe.

Dr. Yadav from the Research School of Biology and ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology at ANU said that work might be instrumental for farmers to maximize food production in the face of increasingly severe drought.

Drought Resistant Crops
Dr. Arun Yadav from the Research School of Biology. Image Credits Lannon Harley, ANU

Hardy crop plants that can maintain high yields under drought will help farmers produce more food reliably and maintain domestic and export markets for Australia.

Drought Resistant Crops- A Different Approach

Dr. Carroll said that the simple test measured the relative abundance of 4 amino acids in wheat plants to predict their ability to maintain yield under drought much more accurately than current methods. The advantage of this test is that it gives more accurate predictions.

Professor Barry Pogson said if farmers are provided with 1,000 wheat varieties to choose from, they can select the drought-resilient lines through a simple assessment of the four amino acids the team of scientists has identified.

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Dr. Greg Rebetzke and Dr. Gonzalo Estavillo from CSIRO Agriculture and Food conducted grain-yield evaluations under extensive field trials across the Australian wheat belt, which enabled the team to build a statistical model of the drought-tolerance predictor.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation funded the research- Drought Resistant Crops.

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Rahul Mishra is a Science enthusiast and eager to learn something new each day. He has a degree in Microbiology and has joined forces with Biotecnika in 2019 due to his passion for writing and science.