Salt tolerant crops:origins,development and prospects of the concept

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1986
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Kenya Soil Survey
Abstract
The genetic approach to the problems posed by salt·affected soils and water, i.e., breeding crops resistant to salinity stress, is traced to two principal origins: the European ecological interest in halophytes, and the exigencies of growing crops in the arid and semi·arid lands of the American West. The point is made that breeding for resistance to salinity stress cannot be divorced from breeding for various other desirable traits of mineral plant nutrition and metabolism. A survey is conducted of the existing body of information on breeding for desiderata of mineral nutrition in general and salt tolerance in particular. The prospects of breeding crops for salt tolerance are discussed, with emphasis on a) its relation to breeding for resistance to other mineral stresses; b) field trials; c) collaboration between plant physiologists and geneticist·breeders; and d) extensive exploration of germplasm.
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