Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Increasing carbon dioxide relieves drought stress in corn

28.07.2003


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.

"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.

Jim Barlow | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Cascading use is also beneficial for wood
11.12.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht The future of crop engineering
08.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>