Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increasing Carbon Dioxide Relieves Drought Stress In Corn, Researchers Say

Date:
July 29, 2003
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will benefit photosynthesis in U.S. corn crops in the future by relieving drought stress, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will benefit photosynthesis in U.S. corn crops in the future by relieving drought stress, say researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. According to preliminary findings of a new study -- being released this week in Hawaii during Plant Biology 2003, the annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists -- photosynthesis of maize on average increased by 10 percent under projected carbon dioxide conditions in the year 2050.

Related Articles


"Carbon dioxide in isolation is good news for the farmers, but unfortunately such conditions won't be in isolation from other factors, so it isn't known how significant these findings may be," said Stephen P. Long, a professor of plant biology and crop sciences.

Long is a lead researcher of SoyFACE (Free Air Concentration Enrichment), a long-term project and the only open-air experiment in the world looking at the effect of future levels of ozone and carbon dioxide gases on agricultural crops.

The corn photosynthesis findings are being exhibited by Andrew Leakey, a Fulbright scholar from Scotland who is conducting research in the SoyFACE fields with Long and with Carl Bernacchi and Donald Ort, both professors of plant biology at Illinois and scientists with the USDA/Agricultural Research Service.

Corn is among the 1 percent of plants that use the carbon-dioxide efficient photosynthesis system known as C4. Scientists had theorized that C4 plants would not respond to more carbon dioxide in the air, because the gas is internally concentrated by the leaf – essentially a fuel-injected photosynthesis, Leakey said.

However, Leakey found that in a carbon dioxide concentration of 550 parts per million, carbon fixation in the leaves indeed rose in association with greater intercellular carbon dioxide and enhanced water use efficiency.

The 2002 growing season, when the research was conducted, was considered a typical one in terms of weather. However, at the end of a dry spell in June, Leakey found, carbon fixation increased under elevated carbon dioxide as much as 41 percent.

Since carbon dioxide serves to close the stomata, which are tiny pores in the epidermal layer of leaves, the jump in photosynthesis likely resulted from the plant maintaining higher water content in the leaves during the dry period, Long said.

The improvement in corn growth could be offset by the effects of rising ozone levels and other global warming factors, the researchers are quick to point out. While elevated ozone is part of the SoyFACE technology, corn has not yet been exposed to it. In soybeans, initial exposure to carbon dioxide led to increased yields that were later dramatically reversed by the effects of ozone.

The SoyFACE research area on the south end of campus features 70-foot octagon-shaped plots in which ABS plastic pipes deliver at crop level a precisely regulated flow of either carbon dioxide and/or ozone from 50-ton solar-powered tanks. Control rings surround equal amounts of control crops, which grow in normal conditions, without gases, for comparison purposes.

Construction began in 2000; research began the next spring. SoyFACE comprises more than 30 research groups with participants from 18 countries. Funding is provided by the Illinois Council for Food and Agricultural Research, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the International Arid Lands Consortium of Astra-Zeneca, United Kingdom, the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Increasing Carbon Dioxide Relieves Drought Stress In Corn, Researchers Say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 July 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030728080920.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (2003, July 29). Increasing Carbon Dioxide Relieves Drought Stress In Corn, Researchers Say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030728080920.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Increasing Carbon Dioxide Relieves Drought Stress In Corn, Researchers Say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030728080920.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) A mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers' houses at a tea plantation in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing, an official said. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Galapagos Tortoises Bounce Back, But Ecosystem Lags

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) The Galapagos tortoise has made a stupendous recovery from the brink of extinction to a population of more than 1,000. But it still faces threats. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Saharan Solar Project to Power Europe

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A solar energy project in the Tunisian Sahara aims to generate enough clean energy by 2018 to power two million European homes. Matt Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins