Towards the production of salt-tolerant crops

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Barkla, BJ, Vera-Estrella, R & Pantoja, O 1999, 'Towards the production of salt-tolerant crops', in F Shahidi, P Kolodziejczyk, JR Whitaker, AL Munguia & G Fuller (eds), Chemicals via higher plant bioengineering, Penam Publishing, New York, pp. 77-89. ISBN: 9781461371434


Crop production is affected by numerous environmental factors, with soil salinity and drought having the most detrimental effects. Attempts to improve yield under stress conditions by plant breeding have been unsuccessful, primarily due to the multigenic origin of the adaptive responses. The transfer of genes through genetic engineering of crop plants appears more feasible. Important adaptive mechanisms targeted for potential gene transfer would be the tonoplast Na+/H+ antiport, compatible solute synthesis and, regulation of water channel activity and expression, mechanisms involved in cellular osmoregulation. In this review we discuss recent advances in our understanding of these adaptive mechanisms