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SA's world-first research on salinity-tolerant bread wheat

Friday 31 January 2020

South Australia could revolutionise the capacity to grow bread wheat in dry and saline soil conditions after the release of results from an eight-year research program.


The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) recently released the results of the research program to develop lines of bread wheat with the potential for significantly improved adaptation to saline or sodic soils to boost both the yield and profit from the Australian wheat crop.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said South Australia continues to lead the way in game-changing research for the grains industry.

"After eight years of research, it is fantastic to see the results providing the basis for developing salinity-tolerant wheat for national and international markets," said Minister Whetstone.

"The potential impact from this local research on the Australian grains industry is significant and reinforces South Australia’s reputation as a state of innovation in agriculture.

"Particularly given the impact of drought, losses in yield and profit due to saline or sodic soil are significant, so any research to counter those issues is important for our industries.

"These findings could boost wheat production on a global scale and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this research field."

SARDI will now undertake further yield trials and evaluation over the next two years, which will determine the commercial potential of the new wheat lines.

Led by SARDI, the work was supported by the University of Adelaide, the University’s Waite Research Institute and The Yitpi Foundation.

Salinity (presence of salt) and sodicity (presence of sodium) are major constraints to global cereal production, and despite significant international research effort, the impact in the field from this research for growers in marginal areas has been limited.

Read the full report at Frontiers in Plant Science.

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