Research finds salt tolerance gene in soybean

January 8, 2015, University of Adelaide
Photo of a soybean salt-tolerant plant compared to a non-tolerant variety

A collaborative research project between Australian and Chinese scientists has shown how soybean can be bred to better tolerate soil salinity.

The researchers, at the University of Adelaide in Australia and the Institute of Crop Sciences in the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, have identified a specific gene in that has great potential for soybean crop improvement.

"Soybean is the fifth largest crop in the world in terms of both crop area planted and amount harvested," says the project's lead, University of Adelaide researcher Associate Professor Matthew Gilliham. "But many commercial crops are sensitive to soil salinity and this can cause major losses to crop yields.

"On top of that, the area of salt-affected agricultural land is rapidly increasing and is predicted to double in the next 35 years. The identification of that improve crop will be essential to our efforts to improve global food security."

Professor Lijuan Qiu and Dr Rongxia Guan at the Institute of Crop Sciences pinpointed a candidate salt tolerance gene after examining the genetic sequence of several hundred soybean varieties. Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology at the University of Adelaide's Waite campus then investigated the function of this gene.

"We initially identified the gene by comparing two commercial cultivars," says Professor Qiu. "We were surprised and pleased to see that this gene also conferred salt tolerance in some other commercial cultivars, old domesticated and even wild soybean.

"It appears that this gene was lost when breeding new cultivars of soybean in areas without salinity. This has left many new cultivars susceptible to the rapid increases we are currently seeing in soil salinity around the world."

By identifying the gene, genetic markers can now be used in breeding programs to ensure that salt tolerance can be maintained in future cultivars of soybean that will be grown in areas prone to .

"This gene functions in a completely new way from other salt tolerance genes we know about," says Associate Professor Gilliham. "We can now use this information to find similar genes in different such as wheat and grapevine, to selectively breed for their enhanced salt tolerance."

This research has received support from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and is a feature article in The Plant Journal.

Explore further: Novel gene for salt tolerance found in wild soybean

More information: "Salinity tolerance in soybean is modulated by natural variation in GmSALT3." The Plant Journal, 80: 937–950. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12695

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betterexists
not rated yet Jan 08, 2015
Why?
Just look for differences between DNA of Freshwater & Marine Algae!
It should hasten the very essential field. Sea shores in unpopulated areas can then be used to cultivate food crops and fruit plants & trees at varying distances with no investment whatsoever. May be just truck in some fresh soil over there as it gets lost in the rainy seasons. Added Bonus will be man-made canals inland....which will be helpful exposing the underground fresh water.
Always scared of Ecology, eh?
betterexists
not rated yet Jan 08, 2015
Oil became available between 150-200 years. In other words....it was 1-way. Just polluting the Nature to extremes. No resources whatsoever to preserve the Natural resources.....Without Automobiles...Forget it!
alfie_null
5 / 5 (1) Jan 09, 2015
Why?
Just look for differences between DNA of Freshwater & Marine Algae!
It should hasten the very essential field. Sea shores in unpopulated areas can then be used to cultivate food crops and fruit plants & trees at varying distances with no investment whatsoever. May be just truck in some fresh soil over there as it gets lost in the rainy seasons. Added Bonus will be man-made canals inland....which will be helpful exposing the underground fresh water.
Always scared of Ecology, eh?

Irrigated fields, not ocean shores, is where soil salinity is an issue. The idea of mining arable inland farmland to briefly gain farmable shoreland is strange.

For your inland soil mine (former farm), below the top few inches of soil, what you get is worth crap for growing stuff. So no canals. Instead you scrape off the topsoil. A new inland desert, surface scraped clean of anything that would support agriculture.

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