Salt resistant wheat could help reduce food scarcity

Soil salinity is one serious threat farmers across the world face due to climate change. You may know that growing crops in saline lands is not possible at all. Plants will perish due to the presence of sodium in their leaves. Some Australian researchers have done a great job to deal with this problem. They developed a new breed of wheat that removes sodium from the leaves and they outgrow traditional strains by up to 25 percent in salty lands.

New variety of salt-tolerant wheat could help address food shortages

This breakthrough invention comes from a group of researchers at the CSIRO Plant Industry and the University of Adelaide. They developed the salt tolerant wheat through a non genetically modified (GM) crop breeding technique. This breed of wheat can be planted in saline lands all across the world, which will be challenged by soil salinity in near future, the researchers say.

The researchers spotted the gene from a 15 year old strain of wheat. This gene was found as salt tolerant and it was used to produce more seeds, which are not only harmful for nature, but also eco friendly, says Matthew Gilliham, senior author of the research and scientist at the Waite Research Institute.

According to Gilliham, the world is to go through very critical soil salinity issues. So far more than 20 percent of the world’s agricultural lands are affected by salinity. Due to the climate change and the resultant rise of seal level will boost it in coming years.

Moreover, by 2050, the requirement for food will nearly double. So, only salt resistant wheat and other crops can cope up with rising food demand. The Australian researchers published their study in the Nature Biotechnology journal and it is now getting huge appraisals from across the world.

Via: The-Conversation

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