Articles | Volume 14, issue 16
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-3851-2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-14-3851-2017
Research article
 | 
29 Aug 2017
Research article |  | 29 Aug 2017

Morphological plasticity of root growth under mild water stress increases water use efficiency without reducing yield in maize

Qian Cai, Yulong Zhang, Zhanxiang Sun, Jiaming Zheng, Wei Bai, Yue Zhang, Yang Liu, Liangshan Feng, Chen Feng, Zhe Zhang, Ning Yang, Jochem B. Evers, and Lizhen Zhang

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Latest update: 21 Apr 2024
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Short summary
Large yield gaps exist in rain-fed maize in semi-arid regions caused by frequent droughts halfway through the growing period due to uneven distribution of rainfall. It can be questioned whether irrigation systems are economically and ecologically required. Maize yield was not affected by mild water stress due to the morphological plasticity in root growth. Our results help to mitigate drought risk in dry-land agriculture.
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