MU gets $4.2 million to study drought stress on corn roots

The University of Missouri is getting  $4.2 million from the National Science Foundation to study corn root growth during drought.

DSCN2548“This is great news for Mizzou and a testament to the outstanding work being done here at the division of plant sciences,” said Missouri Governor Jay Nixon at the outset of a roundtable discussion held at the University of Missouri’s Bradford Research Center.

“[MU plant science professor] Dr. [Robert] Sharp’s research into how corn crops respond to drought has enormous implications, and could lead to the development of new hybrids and more resistance to drought conditions in Missouri, across the nation and around the globe,” said Governor Nixon.

DSCN2556The research could lead to genetic corn varieties that are more resistant to drought, said Dr. Thomas Payne, dean of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

“Root biology’s very, very complex and I think a lot of people don’t even think about roots, but everything that grows is very, very dependent upon the root system and what goes on in those roots,” Dr. Payne told Brownfield Ag News.  “It’s a very important part of plant physiology.”

Governor Nixon held a roundtable discussion with MU researchers and administrators to announce the grant.

AUDIO: Governor Nixon (6 min. MP3)

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