Root system for maize drought tolerance: anatomical, physiological, molecular genetic aspects

  • N. E. Volkova Plant Breeding and Genetics Institute - National Center of Seed and Cultivar Investigation, Ukraine, 65036, Odesa, Str. Ovidiopol'skaya Doroga, 3
  • G. I. Slischuk Plant Breeding and Genetics Institute - National Center of Seed and Cultivar Investigation, Ukraine, 65036, Odesa, Str. Ovidiopol'skaya Doroga, 3


The review deals with the present state of maize root system research and its role in drought tolerance and productivity. Maize root system idiotype - the optimal architecture of the root system for soil with water deficiency is described. The molecular and genetic aspects of the maize root system traits and drought tolerance are demonstrated. There are the results of studies of genes and loci of maize root system traits associated with providing drought tolerance. It presents an innovative approach, with which estimated roots morphological traits - automatic phenotypic analysis of the digital image of the plants root systems by software. Creating deep-rooted plants is considered to be an important strategy to improve water production and yield stability. Presenting the program Roots Power™, developed by "Euralis Semens" (France), under which the EU set up the first maize hybrid Sensor (FAO 370), with modified characteristics of the root system, which provides significant resistance to drought and lodging, yield stability.

Keywords: drought tolerance, root system, maize, genes, quantitative trait loci


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