AsianScientist (Jan. 8, 2014) – Chinese scientists have created a high-yield salt-resistant rice variety that boasts an output of six tons per hectare, according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency.
Researchers from Hainan University began their research on the development of salt-resistant varieties as early as 1992. In the late 1990s, they managed to cultivate salt-resistant vegetables, including tomatoes, eggplant, cowpeas and pepper.
Six years ago, the researchers inserted a salt-resistant gene from a wild plant into a normal rice variety, and after five years of screening, they obtained 18 salt-resistant rice varieties.
They planted 18 salt-resistant varieties on saline-alkali land along the seacoast in the city of Yancheng in eastern Jiangsu province. One variety was identified as matching the output of varieties growing on normal farmland, according to Hainan University Professor Lin Qifeng.
They now plan to expand the experimental plantation to 100 mu in Yancheng to further evaluate the performance of the salt-resistant varieties.
China has nearly 13.3 million hectares of saline-alkali soils with the potential to be cultivated, equivalent to one-tenth of the country’s total farmland, according to data from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Rowan Peter/Flickr/CC.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.