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 soybean 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. “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 soil salinity…..To Read More….