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Rewilding staple crops for the lost halophytism: toward sustainability and profitability of agricultural production systems
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-21, 16:04 authored by Rawat, N, Wungrampha, S, Singla-Pareek, SL, Yu, M, Sergey ShabalaSergey Shabala, Pareek, A
Abiotic stress tolerance has been weakened during the domestication of all major staple crops. Soil salinity is a major environmental constraint that impacts over half of the world population; however, given the increasing reliance on irrigation and the lack of available freshwater, agriculture in the 21st century will increasingly become saline. Therefore, global food security is critically dependent on the ability of plant breeders to create high-yielding staple crop varieties that will incorporate salinity tolerance traits and account for future climate scenarios. Previously, we have argued that the current agricultural practices and reliance on crops that exclude salt from uptake is counterproductive and environmentally unsustainable, and thus called for a need for a major shift in a breeding paradigm to incorporate some halophytic traits that were present in wild relatives but were lost in modern crops during domestication. In this review, we provide a comprehensive physiological and molecular analysis of the key traits conferring crop halophytism, such as vacuolar Na+ sequestration, ROS desensitization, succulence, metabolic photosynthetic switch, and salt deposition in trichomes, and discuss the strategies for incorporating them into elite germplasm, to address a pressing issue of boosting plant salinity tolerance.
Publication titleMolecular plant
Department/SchoolTasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)
PublisherMA Cell Press
Place of publicationCambridge
Rights statementCopyright 2021 The Author.