Improving salt tolerance of wheat and barley: future prospects

Tim Colmer, R. Munns, Timothy Flowers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    239 Citations (Scopus)


    Cropping on saline land is restricted by the low tolerance of crops to salinity and waterlogging. Prospects for improving salt tolerance in wheat and barley include the use of: (i) intra-specific variation, (ii) variation for salt tolerance in the progenitors of these cereals, (iii) wide-hybridisation with halophytic 'wild' relatives ( an option for wheat, but not barley), and (iv) transgenic techniques. In this review, key traits contributing to salt tolerance, and sources of variation for these within the Triticeae, are identified and recommendations for use of these traits in screening for salt tolerance are summarised. The potential of the approaches to deliver substantial improvements in salt tolerance is discussed, and the importance of adverse interactions between waterlogging and salinity are emphasised. The potential to develop new crops from the diverse halophytic flora is also considered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1425-1443
    JournalAustralian Journal of Experimental Agriculture
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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