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SP 2: Fertility and heat tolerance of maize

Project manager: Prof. Dr. Thomas Dresselhaus

Heat and drought stress are the two abiotic prime factors which are directly correlated to the global warming and lead to significant yield losses for crops. Even so called short high temperature episodes (KHTs) for a few days - as they are also occurring more and more often in Bavaria - lead to severely reduced grain set and major crop short falls. It has been shown that crops are particularly susceptible when they are exposed to KHTs during the reproductive phase between blossom organ formation and fertilization. Depending on the length of the stress period complete sterility or incomplete seed respectively grain set could occur. The silks of maize appear to be highly susceptible to heat stress in many lines and probably also contribute quite essentially to reduced grain set and thus yield losses - even if the pollen is still well germinable. The question, which of the molecular mechanisms lead to heat tolerance and therefore fertility during the growth of the pollen tube in the heat stressed silks of maize, will be pursued within BayKlimaFit 2.

Poster kick off meeting (German)              Project description kick off meeting (German)