Tar Spot Complex
The nine new maize lines are especially valuable for breeders seeking drought tolerance or tar spot complex disease resistance.
Multispectral and thermal images taken by cameras on unmanned aerial vehicles are helping researchers to monitor the resistance of maize to tar spot complex and other foliar diseases.
Traits sought include better resilience under high temperatures, drought conditions or the attacks of rapidly-evolving crop diseases.
A new study shows that nearly 12 million hectares of the maize-growing USA, approximately 33 percent of the entire maize-growing area of the country, might be vulnerable to a disease called Tar Spot Complex (TSC).
Indigenous farmers in Oaxaca are custodians of maize biodiversity, growing seeds passed down over generations.
In southern Mexico and Central America a fungal maize disease known as tar spot complex is decimating yields, threatening local food security and livelihoods.