Plant and Soil

, Volume 247, Issue 1, pp 93–105

Avenues for increasing salt tolerance of crops, and the role of physiologically based selection traits

  • Rana Munns
  • Shazia Husain
  • Anna Rita Rivelli
  • Richard A. James
  • A.G. (Tony) Condon
  • Megan P. Lindsay
  • Evans S. Lagudah
  • Daniel P. Schachtman
  • Ray A. Hare
Article

DOI: 10.1023/A:1021119414799

Cite this article as:
Munns, R., Husain, S., Rivelli, A.R. et al. Plant and Soil (2002) 247: 93. doi:10.1023/A:1021119414799

Abstract

Increased salt tolerance is needed for crops grown in areas at risk of salinisation. This requires new genetic sources of salt tolerance, and more efficient techniques for identifying salt-tolerant germplasm, so that new genes for tolerance can be introduced into crop cultivars. Screening a large number of genotypes for salt tolerance is not easy. Salt tolerance is achieved through the control of salt movement into and through the plant, and salt-specific effects on growth are seen only after long periods of time. Early effects on growth and metabolism are likely due to osmotic effects of the salt, that is to the salt in the soil solution. To avoid the necessity of growing plants for long periods of time to measure biomass or yield, practical selection techniques can be based on physiological traits. We illustrate this with current work on durum wheat, on selection for the trait of sodium exclusion. We have explored a wide range of genetic diversity, identified a new source of sodium exclusion, confirmed that the trait has a high heritability, checked for possible penalties associated with the trait, and are currently developing molecular markers. This illustrates the potential for marker-assisted selection based on sound physiological principles in producing salt-tolerant crop cultivars.

durum wheatmolecular markerssalinitysodium

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rana Munns
    • 1
  • Shazia Husain
    • 1
  • Anna Rita Rivelli
    • 2
  • Richard A. James
    • 1
  • A.G. (Tony) Condon
    • 1
  • Megan P. Lindsay
    • 1
  • Evans S. Lagudah
    • 1
  • Daniel P. Schachtman
    • 3
  • Ray A. Hare
    • 4
  1. 1.CSIRO Plant IndustryCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Plant ProductionUniversity of BasilicataPotenzaItaly
  3. 3.Danforth Plant Science CenterSt. LouisUSA
  4. 4.NSW AgricultureTamworthAustralia