Salt-Tolerant Crops: Time to Deliver

Vanessa Jane Melino, Mark A. Tester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Despite the numerous advances made in our understanding of the physiology and molecular genetics of salinity tolerance, there have been relatively few applications of these to improve the salt tolerance of crops. The most significant advances have historically utilized intraspecific variation, introgression of traits from close crop wild relatives, or, less frequently, introgression from more distant relatives. Advanced lines often fail due to difficulties in the introgression or tracking of traits or due to yield penalties associated with the alleles in nonsaline environments. However, the greatest limitation is that salinity is not a primary trait for breeders. We must close the gap between research and delivery, especially for farmers who have precious few alternatives. These efforts should include a reassessment of old techniques such as grafting current crops with salt-tolerant hybrid rootstocks. Alternatively, future crops can be produced via domestication of salt-tolerant wild species—an approach that is now feasible in our lifetime.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnual Review of Plant Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 28 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology


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