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Paper co-authored by DuPont Pioneer researchers one of most-cited papers in its discipline

May 5, 2010

A co-authored Pioneer Hi-Bred research paper was published in the Jan-Feb 2009 Crop Science publication. "Can Changes in Canopy and/or Root System Architecture Explain Historical Maize Yield Trends in the US Corn Belt?" - was written by five Pioneer researchers and four external collaborators. It was recently identified by Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators as a "Fast Breaking Paper" in the field of agricultural sciences, which means it is one of the most-cited papers in its discipline published during the past two years.

"I consider this to be outstanding international recognition of a planned scientific outcome from our collaborative work with the University of Queensland," says Mark Cooper, Pioneer senior Research fellow.

The paper used the advanced crop modeling methods developed through the collaboration to provide quantitative estimates of the impact of changes in root system architecture to capture extra water and canopy system architecture to more effectively capture radiation on the long-term yield improvement of corn yields in the U.S. corn belt. The quantitative estimates indicate that improvements in the ability of maize crops to capture additional water from the soil is an important component of the long-term yield advance in the U.S. corn belt and that the changes in canopy architecture (such as leaf erectness) and any associated effects they have on enhanced capture of light energy have made secondary contributions as the corn crop was improved to capture additional water. The ability to quantify the contributions of different traits to long-term yield improvement provides valuable insight as to potential avenues for future crop improvement through further changes in the same and additional traits.

Authors of this industry-leading drought study include:

  • Zhanshan Dong, Research scientist, Pioneer
  • Carlos Messina, Research scientist, Pioneer
  • Jeff Schussler, senior Research manager, Pioneer
  • Steve Paszkiewicz, senior Research scientist, Pioneer
  • Mark Cooper, senior Research fellow, Pioneer
  • Graeme L. Hammer
  • Greg McLean
  • Al Doherty
  • Chris Zinselmeier