Climate change is real. Increased temperatures during the growing season result in decreases in soybean and wheat yields. “This is a global challenge,” says molecular biologist Jai Rohila, assistant professor of biology and microbiology at South Dakota State University. To feed a growing population, producers need varieties that can tolerate heat and water stress.

Rohila is identifying proteins that are differentially expressed in varieties of wheat and soybean that do better under these growing conditions. His goal is to discover the multiple genes network that works in favor of plant during heat/drought stress period. This is what the breeders need to stabilize crop yields under stress conditions. The sooner they begin screening materials, the more quickly producers can develop varieties of wheat and soybeans that can tolerate these changing climate conditions.

He can comment on how changing climate impacts crop production and how scientists are working with crop breeders to meet that challenge.

Contact Rohila at jai.rohila@sdstate.edu or call 605-688-4453.