Under a year since a huge tsunami inundated paddy fields in Japan with salty sludge, scientists are near to developing locally-adapted, salt-tolerant rice.
Following a Japan-UK research collaboration, a new method for marker assisted breeding is being used to slash the time it takes to isolate new traits such as salt tolerance. Details of the new method, called MutMap, will be published in Nature Biotechnology on Sunday so they can be used by scientists and breeders worldwide to dramatically accelerate crop breeding.
“The beauty of the new method is its simplicity,” said Professor Sophien Kamoun, co-author on the paper and Head of The Sainsbury Laboratory on Norwich Research Park.
“By working with cultivars favoured by farmers and already adapted to local conditions, the MutMap method will enable plant scientists and breeders to develop new crop varieties in nearer a year rather than five to ten years.”
The new technique also takes advantage of the speed at which sequencing can now be done to screen plant mutants for valuable trai
Read the rest of the story: Science to help rice growers affected by Japans tsunami.