Seed World

Research Finds New Salt-Tolerant Soybean Gene

A collaborative research project between Australian and Chinese scientists has shown how soybeans can be bred to better tolerate soil salinity.
The researchers, at the University of Adelaide in Australia and the Institute of Crop Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, China, have identified a specific gene in soybeans that has great potential for improving the crop.
“This gene functions in a completely new way from other salt tolerance genes we know about,” says Matthew Gilliham, associate professor and project lead at the University of Adelaide. “We can now use this information to find similar genes in different crops, such as wheat and grapevine, to selectively breed for their enhanced salt tolerance.”
By identifying this gene, genetic markers can 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.