RESEARCHERS from Southern Illinois University — Carbondale have developed a transgenic corn that can weather a drought while yielding roughly 10% more than unmodified corn. The researchers point out that true drought resistance, where the corn goes on growing when there is no water, does not exist. However, the transgenic corn suffers only slightly in drought conditions and then recovers quickly. The yield advantage does not occur in wet years, when the transgenic corn performs much the same as regular corn.
The new corn can capture 10% more nitrogen than unmodified corn. Corn containing the new gene could go on the market in the next three to five years.