Further understanding of salt stress tolerance mechanisms in wheat

Toward improving commercial wheat varieties

An international research group consisting of RIKEN CSRS and University of Adelaide researchers have elucidated a mechanism that strengthens salt stress tolerance in major commercial wheat varieties used in South Australia.

An automated high-throughput phenotyping system was used to accurately and rapidly record and analyze wheat growth data to select for cultivars that were either tolerant of or sensitive to mild salt stress in conditions mimicking salt-damaged farmland. The selected cultivars were then comprehensively analyzed for gene expression. Researchers determined that these cultivars responded to salt stress with rapid, dynamic changes. However, these changes were not from expression of known stress-inducible genes but instead used a new mechanism that promotes growth to overcome the stress.

This research clarifies how wheat cultivars bred for use on salt-damaged farmland have adapted at the genetic level and represents an important finding for accelerating the development of wheat varieties with even higher levels of salt stress tolerance for use on salt-damaged farmland.

 

Original article
PLOS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0133322
F. Takahashi, J. Tilbrook, C. Trittermann, SJ. Roy, M. Seki, K. Shinozaki, M. Tester,
"Comparison of leaf sheath transcriptome profiles with physiological traits of bread wheat cultivars under salinity stress".

Contact
Kazuo Shinozaki; Team Leader
Fuminori Takahashi; Research Scientist
Biomass Research Platform Team