Saif-u-Malook, Saeed Ahmad Qaisarani, Muhammad Khalid Shabaz, Hafiz Ghulam Muhu-Din Ahmed, Muhammad Arslan Nawaz, Muhammad Sarfaraz, Ghulam Mustafa, Qurban Ali
Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan
Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Vehari, Punjab, Pakistan
Center of Excellence of Molecular Biology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
Department of Agronomy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan
Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Key words: Drought, Radiations, Mutations, Zea mays, Combining ability.
Crop production worldwide is focus to increasing environmental limitations, particularly to drought due to its high degree of impact and wide distribution. Conventional breeding approaches are trying to improve abiotic stress tolerance in crop plants, which have had some improvement, but are restricted by the quantitative nature of the traits. Maize is an important cereal crop. It is used as raw material in food, medicine and textile industries for the manufacturing of corn oil, corn flakes, dextrose, textile dyes livestock and poultry. Drought seriously affects plant growth from seedling to maturity. Mutation also proved to be tremendously important for evaluating functions for individual drought tolerant genes due to the availability of knock-out mutants and its docility for genetic transformation. To produce hybrids it is needed to collect information about germplasm diversity, combining ability and heterotic pattern that is essential in maximizing the effectiveness of the breeding programs. It will be helpful in selection of genotypes with improved yield. When genes for resistance to a particular disease or stress cannot be found in the available gene pool then mutation induction is the best alternative. In this review, the response of plant to drought and mutation are described, the regulatory routes which allow plants to manage with drought are presented, and how the present information can be useful to obtain stress tolerant plants.