drought - International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech ...

How maize responds to drought and heat stress … ... (Tester CML539 on 293 lines from the DTMA association mapping panel) assessed under drought, drought ...
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Progress in Achieving and Delivering Drought Tolerance in Maize - An Update by

Greg O. Edmeades

Published by: The International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA). Copyright: ISAAA 2013. All rights reserved. This document “Progress in Achieving and Delivering Drought Tolerance in Maize - An Update” is entirely excerpted from the Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2012, ISAAA Brief 44. Whereas ISAAA encourages the global sharing of information, no part of this publication shall be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronically, mechanically, by photocopying, recording or otherwise without the permission of the copyright owners. Reproduction of this publication, or parts thereof, for educational and non-commercial purposes is encouraged with due acknowledgment, subsequent to permission being granted by ISAAA. Citation: Edmeades, G.O. 2013. Progress in Achieving and Delivering Drought Tolerance in Maize - An Update, ISAAA: Ithaca, NY. Publication Orders: The publication is available free of charge to eligible nationals of developing countries. ISAAA SEAsiaCenter c/o IRRI DAPO Box 7777 Metro Manila, Philippines

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Preface: Special Feature on Drought Tolerance in Maize The proverb “Water is the staff of life” reminds us that water is important and precious. Agriculture currently uses over 70% (86% in developing countries) of the fresh water in the world. Water tables are dropping fast in countries like China, and water supplies will continue to shrink worldwide as global population will grow from the current 7 billion to more than 9 billion people in 2050. Whereas people drink only 1 to 2 liters a day, the food and meat we eat in a typical day requires 2,000 to 3,000 liters to produce. Both conventional and biotechnology approaches are instruments to develop crops that use water more efficiently and are more tolerant to drought. Given the lack of water and its cardinal role in crop production, it follows that tolerance to drought and efficient water usage should be assigned the highest priority in developing future crops. The situation will be further exacerbated as global warming takes its toll, with weather expected to become generally drier and warmer, and as competition for water intensifies between people and crops. Drought tolerance conferred through biotech crops is viewed as the most important trait that will be commercialized in the second decade of commercialization, 2006 to 2015, and beyond, because it is by far the single most important constraint to increased productivity for crops worldwide. Drought tolerant biotech/transgenic maize, is the most advanced, and the first biotech maize will be launched commercially in the USA in 2013. Notably, a private/public sector partnership (WEMA) hopes to release the first biotech drought tolerant maize as early as 2017 in sub-Saharan Africa where the need for drought tolerance is greatest. Given the pivotal importance of drought tolerance, ISAAA invited Dr. Greg O. Edmeades, former leader of the maize drought program at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), to contribute a timely global overview on the status of drought tolerance in maize, in both conventional and biotech approaches, in the private and public sector, and to discuss future prospects in the near, mid and long term. The contribution by Dr. Edmeades, “Progress in Achieving and Delivering Drought Tolerance in Maize - An Update”, supported by key references, was ori