Scientists developing salt-resistant riceJanuary 23rd, 2012 - 3:30 pm ICT by IANS
London, Jan 23 (IANS) Scientists are developing a salt-resistant rice variety after a huge tsunami last year hit paddy fields in Japan leaving behind a salty sludge.
Farmlands that accumulate salt have lower crop yields, which can threaten food supply, as rice happens to be the staple of billions of people worldwide.
“The beauty of the new method (called MutMap) is its simplicity,” said Sophien Kamoun, professor and head of the Sainsbury Lab on Norwich Reserch Park, who co-authored the study which was reported in the journal Nature Biotechnology.
“By working with cultivars favoured by farmers and already adapted to local conditions, the MutMap method will enable plant scientists and breeders to develop new crop varieties in nearer a year rather than five to 10 years,” added Kamoun.
The new method can also improve rice productivity worldwide. Even otherwise, much of the crop is often grown on land that is prone to high levels of salinity.
The new technique also takes advantage of the speed at which sequencing can now be done to screen plant mutants for valuable traits, according to a Norwich and Iwate Research Centre statement.
“Until now, plant breeding has not been able to take advantage of the genomics revolution,” said Ryohei Terauchi, professor at Iwate Biotechnology Research Centre, Japan, who led the study.
“MutMap overcomes one of the greatest limitations, which has been the time it takes to identify genetic markers for desirable traits,” Terauchi added.
- Sources of genetic resistance to rice sheath blight identified - May 05, 2010
- Gene behind four-leaf clover discovered - Jun 26, 2010
- Gene tech can bolster global food supply - Oct 11, 2011
- Scientists modify rice to grow well on saline soil - Sep 13, 2010
- Scientists now know tomato better - May 31, 2012
- Plants adapt genetically to survive unfavourable environments - Feb 01, 2011
- Flood-tolerant rice plants 'can also recover from drought' - Mar 03, 2011
- Flood-drought tolerant rice can feed world's hungry - Mar 03, 2011
- Apple genome could lead to better apples - Aug 30, 2010
- Bio-technology the only way to combat world hunger: Experts - Oct 20, 2011
- Scientists create salt-tolerant wheat - Mar 12, 2012
- Grapes were domesticated 8,000 years ago finds genetics study - Jan 20, 2011
- Consumers open up to wide varieties of garlic - Nov 04, 2009
- Strong quake hits Japan - Mar 27, 2012
- Mapping soybean genome may help fight world hunger - Feb 02, 2010
Tags: biotechnology research, crop varieties, crop yields, desirable traits, farmlands, favoured, food supply, genetic markers, genomics revolution, iwate, journal nature biotechnology, london jan, mutants, plant breeding, plant scientists, reserch, rice variety, sainsbury lab, sludge, staple