e360 digest


12 Mar 2012: Scientists Use Ancient Gene
To Create Salt-Tolerant Wheat Variety

Australian scientists have crossed a popular variety of wheat with an ancient species, producing a salt-tolerant variety they say could help reduce food shortages in the world’s arid and semi-arid regions. Using a genetic variation that had been lost in plants due to domestication before it was rediscovered a decade ago, the researchers say they were able to boost yields of durum wheat by 25 percent in salty soils. The gene, which was isolated from an ancestral cousin of modern-day wheat, Triticum monococcum, is believed to help prevent salt from traveling up the plant’s shoots, where it can cause damage, lead researcher Matthew Gilliham of the University of Adelaide, told Reuters. “Salty soils are a major problem because if soldium starts to build up in the leaves it will affect important processes such as photosynthesis,” he said. The findings could have an important impact on wheat yields worldwide, where salinity already affects more than 20 percent of soils, Gilliham said. The study was published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.


Yale
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
.

SEARCH e360



Donate to Yale Environment 360
Yale Environment 360 Newsletter


Paris Climate Coverage COP21

CONNECT


ABOUT

About e360
Contact
Submission Guidelines
Reprints

E360 en Español

Universia partnership
Yale Environment 360 articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia, the online educational network.
Visit the site.


DEPARTMENTS

Opinion
Reports
Analysis
Interviews
Forums
e360 Digest
Podcasts
Video Reports

TOPICS

Biodiversity
Business & Innovation
Climate
Energy
Forests
Oceans
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Sustainability
Urbanization
Water

REGIONS

Antarctica and the Arctic
Africa
Asia
Australia
Central & South America
Europe
Middle East
North America

e360 VIDEO

“Battle
The 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner documents a Northeastern town's bitter battle over a wind farm.
Watch the video.

e360 MOBILE

Mobile
The latest
from Yale
Environment 360
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile.

e360 VIDEO

“Alaska
A 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner captures stunning images of wild salmon runs in Alaska.
Watch the video.

e360 VIDEO

Food waste
An e360 video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs.
Watch the video.

e360 SPECIAL REPORT

“Tainted
A three-part series Tainted Harvest looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup.
Read the series.

e360 VIDEO

Colorado wildfires
An e360 video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate.
Watch the video.

OF INTEREST



Yale