Biotech Updates

Study: Modern Hybrid Corn Uses Nitrogen More Efficiently

May 4, 2012

Purdue University scientists reported that the current hybrid corn varieties are more nitrogen-efficient than the old varieties. This finding is based on 72 years of public sector research data which was reviewed by the scientists.

Doctoral student Ignacio Ciampitti and team discovered that yield of corn continued to increase even if there were less spaces between the plants. The plants sustained enough nitrogen even under higher plant densities.

"We are getting clues on how plants have already improved nitrogen use efficiency, and we will use that to push for further increases," Ciampitti said. "We finally feel like we're shedding some light on what traits plant breeders should select for to increase nitrogen efficiency even more."

The next goal of the researchers is to know how water use efficiency and nitrogen use efficiency can be combined to develop corn with better tolerance to environmental stresses.