The future of salt tolerant wheat

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This story was first published on Monday 21 August 2023. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

Did you know that wheat plays a major role in food security across the world? And the demand for this crop is increasing.

A study undertaken at the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) has revealed salinity tolerance traits in wheat – Australia’s most important cereal crop.

In Australia, almost 70 per cent of wheat is affected by salinity which results in a reduced crop. There is a need to develop salt tolerant wheat to meet the growing demands of wheat consumption.

The research identified genes that could help create new salt resistant cultivars of wheat.

Associate Professor Stuart Roy, Deputy Director (Industry) for the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Accelerated Future Crop Development says that identifying traits that make crops more tolerant to salt will help to develop cultivars that have greater resilience.

‘Salinity is a major constraint to increasing crop production, as the growing global population requires more food while increasing pressure on the quality of water and arable land’, Associate Professor Roy said.

‘Researchers are having some success in this key area and ongoing research; genetic screening and targeted breeding programs will help ensure our food security for the future’.

This research is supported by the Department of Education through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). NCRIS is a network of 24 projects which provide Australian researchers with access to the tools, equipment, data, and services they need for world-class research.

Correct at time of publication.