WEST has already made substantial progress towards realizing crops with improved water-use efficiency. Our team has evaluated over 870 sorghum varieties to pinpoint key traits to improve crop's water-use efficiency.

We have identified two targets for improvement:

  1. Reduce Water Loss: Reduce the number of microscopic openings in the leaf that allow water to escape. 
  2. Improve crop canopy: Conserve water by promoting photosynthesis in the humid lower canopy.

We are incorporating these two targets through two approaches:

  1. Engineer water-efficiency genes: Develop sorghum plants with genes for reduced water loss and improved crop canopies. 
  2. Generate sorghum hybrids: Breed sorghum plants that are naturally more water efficient to create superior hybrids.