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Salinity tolerance in barley during germination—homologs and potential genes

Mwando, E., Angessa, T.T., Han, Y.ORCID: 0000-0001-6480-0398 and Li, C. (2020) Salinity tolerance in barley during germination—homologs and potential genes. Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B, 21 . pp. 93-121.

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Salinity affects more than 6% of the world’s total land area, causing massive losses in crop yield. Salinity inhibits plant growth and development through osmotic and ionic stresses; however, some plants exhibit adaptations through osmotic regulation, exclusion, and translocation of accumulated Na+ or Cl-. Currently, there are no practical, economically viable methods for managing salinity, so the best practice is to grow crops with improved tolerance. Germination is the stage in a plant’s life cycle most adversely affected by salinity. Barley, the fourth most important cereal crop in the world, has outstanding salinity tolerance, relative to other cereal crops. Here, we review the genetics of salinity tolerance in barley during germination by summarizing reported quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and functional genes. The homologs of candidate genes for salinity tolerance in Arabidopsis, soybean, maize, wheat, and rice have been blasted and mapped on the barley reference genome. The genetic diversity of three reported functional gene families for salt tolerance during barley germination, namely dehydration-responsive element-binding (DREB) protein, somatic embryogenesis receptor-like kinase and aquaporin genes, is discussed. While all three gene families show great diversity in most plant species, the DREB gene family is more diverse in barley than in wheat and rice. Further to this review, a convenient method for screening for salinity tolerance at germination is needed, and the mechanisms of action of the genes involved in salt tolerance need to be identified, validated, and transferred to commercial cultivars for field production in saline soil.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Western Barley Genetics Alliance
Publisher: Zhejiang University Press
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