Evaluation of maize genotypes for silicon induced abiotic stress- drought tolerance and revealing the mechanism behind stress tolerance
Maize is considered as a promising option for diversifying agriculture in India. Under high altitude temperate regions, with small growing season (3-4 months) and limited irrigation water availability, the reduction in the yield is much higher. Since opportunities are limited for further expansion of maize area in these regions, the future increases in maize supply will be achieved through understanding and adopting the practices which can reduce the losses of abiotic and biotic stresses. Hence working for drought tolerance under such conditions is mandatory. The micronutrient Silicon (Si) is considered as a beneficial element and is the second most abundant element in the earth?s crust after oxygen. Work done in other countries have proved the beneficial effect of silicon in overcoming drought stress, hence working on drought by exploitation of Si can be an excellent option for increasing the yields under these conditions. Therefore, the project aims to understand and divulge the mechanism of silicon induced drought tolerance in maize.