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New Phytol. 2015 Nov;208(3):668-73. doi: 10.1111/nph.13519. Epub 2015 Jun 24.

Salinity tolerance of crops - what is the cost?

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ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology & School of Plant Biology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, 6009, Australia.
CSIRO Agriculture, GPO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia.
ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology & School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, Waite Research Precinct, PMB1, Glen Osmond, SA, 5064, Australia.


Soil salinity reduces crop yield. The extent and severity of salt-affected agricultural land is predicted to worsen as a result of inadequate drainage of irrigated land, rising water tables and global warming. The growth and yield of most plant species are adversely affected by soil salinity, but varied adaptations can allow some crop cultivars to continue to grow and produce a harvestable yield under moderate soil salinity. Significant costs are associated with saline soils: the economic costs to the farming community and the energy costs of plant adaptations. We briefly consider mechanisms of adaptation and highlight recent research examples through a lens of their applicability to improving the energy efficiency of crops under saline field conditions.


adaptation; cost; energy; mechanism; salinity; salt; tolerance; yield

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