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The Promise of Drought-Tolerant Corn

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Science  23 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5952, pp. 517
DOI: 10.1126/science.326_517

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The biofuels drive is just one of several factors, along with worldwide population growth and rising incomes, that's increasing the demand for corn and other crops. Growers have traditionally responded to increasing demand by boosting crop yields, bringing more land under cultivation, or both. But now seed companies are closing in on a third option: creating seed varieties able to tolerate drought. Such drought-resistant varieties could be particularly useful in reducing water demand in areas dependent on declining groundwater reserves (see main text).