Stress-resilient maize for climate-vulnerable ecologies in the Asian tropics

Zaidi, P H and Nguyen, T and Dang, N H and Suriphat, T and Salahuddin, A and Arshad, M and Koirala, K B and Rijal, T R and Kuchanur, P H and Patil, A M and Mandal, S S and Kumar, R and Singh, S B and Kumar, B and Shahi, J P and Patel, M B and Gumma, M K and Pandey, K and Chaurasia, R and Haque, A and Seetharam, K and Das, R R and Vinayan, M T and Rashid, Z and Nair, S K and Vivek, B S (2020) Stress-resilient maize for climate-vulnerable ecologies in the Asian tropics. Australian Journal of Crop Science, 14 (8). pp. 1264-1274. ISSN 1835-2707

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Most parts of the Asian tropics are hotspots of climate change effects and associated weather variabilities. One of the major challenges with climate change is the uncertainty and inter-annual variability in weather conditions as crops are frequently exposed to different weather extremes within the same season. Therefore, agricultural research must strive to develop new crop varieties with inbuilt resilience towards variable weather conditions rather than merely tolerance to individual stresses in a specific situation and/or at a specific crop stage. C4 crops are known for their wider adaptation to range of climatic conditions. However, recent climatic trends and associated variabilities seem to be challenging the threshold limit of wider adaptability of even C4 crops like maize. In collaboration with national programs and private sector partners in the region, CIMMYT-Asia maize program initiated research for development (R4D) projects largely focusing on saving achievable yields across range of variable environments by incorporating reasonable levels of tolerance/resistance to major abiotic and biotic stresses without compromising on grain yields under optimal growing conditions. By integrating novel breeding tools like - genomics, double haploid (DH) technology, precision phenotyping and reducing genotype × environment interaction effects, a new generation of maize germplasm with multiple stress tolerance that can grow well across variable weather conditions were developed. The new maize germplasm were targeted for stress-prone environments where maize is invariability exposed to a range of sub-optimal growing conditions, such as drought, heat, waterlogging and various virulent diseases. The overarching goal of the stress-resilient maize program has been to achieve yield potential with a downside risk reduction.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Innovation Systems for the Drylands (ISD)
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Maize
Uncontrolled Keywords: Climate change, Stress-resilience, Maize, Zea mays L., Weather extremes
Subjects: Others > Maize
Others > Climate Change
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2020 16:36
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2020 16:40
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: The authors duly acknowledge the financial support from several donor agencies, especially the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) and the CGIAR Research Program on MAIZE, for the work on stress-resilient maize for Asian tropics on which this paper is based.
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