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UW-Madison Awarded Grant to Map Corn Drought Tolerance
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 09/12/2019

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is receiving grant funding from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to identify genetic markers in corn associated with drought tolerance and thereby accelerate the breeding of drought-resistant varieties.

Researchers are focusing on drought stress during corn's flowering and grain-growing lifecycle stages. By identifying the genes that together affect drought tolerance, the team can accelerate the development of drought-tolerant corn varieties.

"Nearly four million acres of corn are grown in Wisconsin, making it an important crop in our local economy, says Kate VandenBosch, dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at UW-Madison. "I am pleased that we can contribute our expertise in corn genetics to understand the fundamental biological mechanisms that make the plant more resilient. This will lead to more efficient varieties benefiting farmers, consumers and the ecosystem."

FFAR is awarding an $1.8 million grant to the school through the Crops of the Future Collaborative, which brings industry participants together to collectively fund and execute research to fill knowledge gaps common across the industry.

This project is an expansion of a 2018 grant FFAR awarded to the UW-Madison.

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