Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Salt tolerance of crops

Biol1020 Blog
On salt tolerance of crops

Okay so, I chose to investigate crop salt tolerance for my “recent genetic advancement” just because it has a massive affect on the world. Many arid countries suffer from famine due to the fact their soil is too saline for any form of food to grow easily.

 Hybridisation of more tolerant species of plant with less tolerant species has shown success in improving tolerance. The growing and testing of certain high tolerant plants called Halophytes has also proven to be successful.

What most the most recent method involved with increasing crop tolerance has been the modification of certain genes in a non-tolerant plant and therefore altering the genotype of the offspring.  

What this means for society is that instead of constantly substituting and hybrid breeding; we can now create an actual generation of more salt tolerant crops of whatever species. This will create more opportunity for planting crops in more areas of the world therefore allowing communities on arid land to become self sufficient and provide more space for widespread crop harvesting.

As you can see from this map of Gheshm in Iran (below), a decent amount of the land is considered salty and therefore inhibits the growth of most crops. With the recent advance in genetic modification of crops, most of the “light pink” salty land should become suitable for growth of a generic salt tolerant crop.

 More information can be found at these websites:

Salt tolerance in tomato

Improving crop salt tolerance

Info on Gheshm and the plant habitat surrounding it

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