Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research
Project Number: 8062-21000-036-06
Start Date: Apr 01, 2010
End Date: Mar 31, 2015
The research team is using a multidisciplinary approach to identify maize genes that confer tolerance to aluminum (A1) toxicity and phosphorous (P) deficiency that limit maize yields on acid soils. Molecular, genomic, genetic and physiological approaches will be used to identify the genes and associated physiological mechanisms for tolerance to A1 toxicity and P deficiency. The specific tolerance traits to be studied will be the ability for roots to grow in A1 toxic soils, the ability to modify the whole root architecture to acquire P from the acid soil, and the ability to maintain higher yields on low P and/or A1 toxic soils. A comparative genomics approach will be used to look for maize genes that are similar in sequence and function to sorghum A1 tolerance and rice P efficiency (tolerance to P deficiency) genes that our group already has discovered. Once these A1 tolerance and P efficiency genes in maize have been identified and verified, we will identify molecular markers that are diagnostic for the best versions of these genes for use in maize molecular breeding programs for acid soil tolerance in Africa.