Improved Agricultural Sustainability through Microbial Enhanced Disease Resistance and Yield in Corn
Seed treatments with the plant symbionts Trichoderma harzianum strain T22 results in root colonization and about a 5 bushel per acre yield increase over several hundred field trials. However, results have been quite variable, with yield changes ranging from about 50 bu/acre to actual yield decreases. We have demonstrated that the yield change is determined by unknown maize genetic factors. We expect (a) to identify inbred and hybrid lines that respond strongly positively to T22 and to recommend use of products based upon it only on these positive responding lines, (b) to identify rapid predictive tests for the response and model the relationship between field results and the rapid test, and (c) in related and Phase II R&D to identify the actual genetic factors that give rise to the response. T22 also increases plant resistance to disease and the inheritance; the prediction of results and the genetic nature of this response also will be determined. The purpose of this study is to determine the predictability of maize yields and enhanced diseases resistance in maize genotypes treated with T-22.
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