Researchers develop highest yielding salt tolerant wheat

Apr 15, 2010
A field of salt tolerant durum wheat grown in northern New South Wales as part of a CSIRO field trial. (CSIRO)

(PhysOrg.com) -- In a major breakthrough for wheat farmers in salt-affected areas, CSIRO researchers have developed a salt tolerant durum wheat that yields 25 per cent more grain than the parent variety in saline soils.

Recent field trials in northern New South Wales proved that durum containing new salt tolerant genes outperformed the other varieties in saline soils.

The breakthrough will enable wheat farmers to achieve higher yields of durum wheat in saline soils. Although durum wheat is less salt tolerant than it attracts a premium price because of its superior pasta making qualities.

"By planting the new salt tolerant durum wheats in different levels of salinity and comparing their yield with other durum wheats, we’ve demonstrated an impressive 25 per cent yield advantage under saline ," says CSIRO scientist, Dr Richard James.

The CSIRO Plant Industry research team responsible for the breakthrough recently isolated two salt tolerance genes (Nax1 and Nax2) derived from the old wheat relative Triticum monococcum.

"Both genes work by excluding sodium, which is potentially toxic, from the leaves by limiting its passage from the roots to the shoots," says the leader of the project, Dr Rana Munns.

Through traditional, non-GM breeding methods aided by molecular markers the team was able to introduce the salt exclusion genes into durum wheat lines.

Salinity, a major environmental issue affecting much of Australia’s prime wheat-growing areas, often prevents farmers from growing durum wheat.

Explore further: Heaven scent: Finding may help restore fragrance to roses

Related Stories

Researchers developing better wheat

Feb 16, 2006

Eighteen universities across the United States are combining desirable genes from different varieties of wheat to make better and more competitive varieties.

Building disease-beating wheat

Dec 12, 2007

Pioneered by CSIRO researchers, in collaboration with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and Sydney University, the research illustrates the major genetic improvements possible without ...

Researchers Discover Genes for Frost Tolerance in Wheat

Apr 29, 2008

The genes responsible for the wide range of freezing temperatures that can be tolerated by different wheat varieties have been identified by a team of U.S. and European scientists, led by a plant scientist ...

Rot-resistant wheat could save farmers millions

Oct 28, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- CSIRO researchers have identified wheat and barley lines resistant to Crown Rot - a disease that costs Australian wheat and barley farmers $79 million in lost yield every year.

Elusive rust resistance genes located

Dec 06, 2006

The discovery of a DNA marker for two key rust resistance genes is enabling plant breeders around the world to breed more effective rust resistant wheat varieties.

Recommended for you

Study on pesticides in lab rat feed causes a stir

17 hours ago

French scientists published evidence Thursday of pesticide contamination of lab rat feed which they said discredited historic toxicity studies, though commentators questioned the analysis.

International consortium to study plant fertility evolution

21 hours ago

Mark Johnson, associate professor of biology, has joined a consortium of seven other researchers in four European countries to develop the fullest understanding yet of how fertilization evolved in flowering plants. The research, ...

Making the biofuels process safer for microbes

22 hours ago

A team of investigators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Michigan State University have created a process for making the work environment less toxic—literally—for the organisms that do the heavy ...

Why GM food is so hard to sell to a wary public

23 hours ago

Whether commanding the attention of rock star Neil Young or apparently being supported by the former head of Greenpeace, genetically modified food is almost always in the news – and often in a negative ...

The hidden treasure in RNA-seq

Jul 01, 2015

Michael Stadler and his team at the Friedrich Miescher institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) have developed a novel computational approach to analyze RNA-seq data. By comparing intronic and exonic RNA reads, ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Doug_Huffman
1 / 5 (2) Apr 15, 2010
The advance in agronomy/food science is moot for using genetic manipulation, making another cultivar for the third-world neo-Luddite starvelings to avoid. Kind'a like a beggar's self-mutilation, the better to tug liquid cash from the too stingy heart.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.