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Abiotic stress response


Heat and drought stress affected maize development in central Europe in 2018. High genetic variation for the tolerance to these abiotic stresses is present in European landraces

Abiotic stresses like drought, heat, cold and salt stress are major factors limiting plant production worldwide. With the progress of climate change, the severity and variation of these stresses will increase. The development of tolerant cultivars is complicated by the variability and complex genetic architecture of traits related to abiotic stress.

Currently, we are working to decode the genetic and genomic basis of cold tolerance in maize (BMBF project MAZE) and combined drought and salt tolerance in barley (DFG GRK2064). We focus on early root formation, as plants are highly sensitive to these stresses during this phase of development.