Improving Rice Yield in Salty Soils

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Researchers have measured the genetic diversity of saline tolerant rice from across India. This analysis is used to predict which genotypes should be used to develop higher yields in difficult, salt rich soil conditions, and the work is published in Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS) this month.

The presence of excess salt is one of the most widespread soil toxicity problems in many rice growing areas.

Researchers have measured the genetic diversity of saline tolerant rice from across India. This analysis is used to predict which genotypes should be used to develop higher yields in difficult, salt rich soil conditions, and the work is published in Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS) this month.

The presence of excess salt is one of the most widespread soil toxicity problems in many rice growing areas. In particular, it accounts for 8.5 million hectares of land in India and the yield reduction is estimated at 30-50%.

The success of any breeding programme is dependent on the available genetic divergence in the crop. Dr. A. Anandan and colleagues measured genetic diversity in forty-four salt tolerant rice types from different geographical regions. They analysed the genetic relationships among extant genotypes in order to provide information about genetic diversity. They divided the seeds into 12 clusters. The results suggest that geographical distribution is not necessarily related to genetic divergence, with several diverse regions appearing in the same clusters. They also found that genotypes from the same geographic region appeared in different clusters, and may be due to genetic heterogeneity – i.e. different genes producing identical phenotypes.

They identify promising genotypes for future use in breeding to develop saline tolerant genotypes and estimate the relationship between measurable traits associated with yield under a saline environment.

For further information, contact*:

Dr. A. Anandan, Ph.D.
Lecturer (Senior Grade) in Genetics and Plant Breeding
Department of Agricultural Botany
Faculty of Agriculture
Annamalai University
Chidambaram – 608 002
Tamil Nadu, India
E-mail: anandanau(at)yahoo(dot)com
Phone number: +91-9894227665.

*Dr. Anandan is available to speak to journalists on Friday 4th March 2011, between 0900 and 1700 Indian Standard Time.

Some facts about rice:

According to the International Rice Research Institute

  •     Around 3 billion people eat rice every day, including many of the world’s poor.
  •     About 90% of the world’s rice is produced and consumed in Asia.
  •     Around 600 million undernourished people living in Asia depend on rice as their staple food.

More facts about rice are available from the International Rice Research Institute website: http://irri.org/about-rice/rice-facts

About Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS)
JTAS is published by Universiti Putra Malaysia in English and is open to authors around the world regardless of nationality. It is currently published twice a year in February and August. Other Pertanika series include Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology (JST), and Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH).

Website: http://www.pertanika2.upm.edu.my/jpertanika/index%20-%20pertanika%20journals.htm

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Robin Bisson

Dr. Nayan Kanwal