DuPont has joined the DROught-Tolerant Plants (DROPS) Research Consortium, contributing expertise and a state-of-the-art modeling platform for maize research. DROPS, a European Commission-sponsored consortium, is developing novel tools and breeding strategies that advance drought-tolerance research in maize and other crop plants.
As a member, DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred will share expertise in drought research to help bring solutions for drought tolerance faster through science.
Drought is a universal challenge that must be addressed to feed a hungry planet. It will take many of us working together in collaborations, like DROPS, to bring farmers solutions for combating drought globally. Innovations developed through this collaboration will complement our own research program, which has been providing solutions for farmers for more than 80 years.—John Soper, vice president, Pioneer Crop Genetics Research and Development
Water is the single largest input to agriculture, with irrigation estimated to account for 70% of the total use of fresh water. Drought tolerance is a complex issue, involving many genes with overlapping/interacting effects. Because of the complexity, field testing can be costly and time consuming. Modeling tools such as this platform are helping to improve the efficiency and to shorten the timelines for analysis and crop development.
The Pioneer maize crop modeling platform, developed through a long-term collaboration between Pioneer and researchers at the University of Queensland, facilitates the efficient advancement and development of drought-tolerant hybrids, ultimately helping growers meet the increasing demands on agricultural productivity. This platform allows researchers to input a number of specific characteristics about how experimental plants behave under test conditions, and facilitates prediction of those few that will respond best under drought conditions in the field.
The DROPS Consortium was initiated by the Institut National de la Recherché Agronomique (INRA) of France through project leader Francois Tardieu. Pioneer is the only US-based member of the European-led consortium.