Researchers looking to identify the genetic controls of salt tolerance in crops located a specific point on a chromosome (2H). Under saline conditions, 30% more barley plants were grown with this genetic mutation when compared to a common mother line.
The findings are of potentially great value as projected figures place the world population at nine billion people by 2050.
Producing sufficient food even now is limited by soil salinity , especially in irrigated systems.
While barley’s economic importance has proved of immense value, it has also proved a suitable cereal crop for studying salinity tolerance in plants because it is highly salt-tolerant.
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The team then assessed ten traits related to crop performance, such as flowering time, and looked for specific plant genes that flourished in highly saline soils.
One locus positioned on chromosome 2H originated from a father line from north-west Iraq and yielded 30% more barley…
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Tester’s colleagues next want to look at including this locus, with others linked to salt tolerance, into commercial lines. The resulting plants could then be tested in a number of geographical environments.
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