The present invention relates to materials and methods for modulating growth rates, yield, and/or resistance to drought conditions in plants. In one embodiment, a method of the invention comprises increasing expression of an hc1 gene (or a homolog thereof that provides for substantially the same activity), or increasing expression or activity of the protein encoded by an hc1 gene thereof, in a plant, wherein expression of the hc1 gene or expression or activity of the protein encoded by an hc1 gene results in increased growth rate, yield, and/or drought resistance in the plant.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
 This invention was made with government support under grant number DE-FG02-05ER64114 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.