Professor Frans Maathuis
University of York
Developing drought and salt tolerant rice varieties.
Drought and saline soils are two environmental conditions that greatly depress agricultural production around the globe and it is estimated that around 20-30% of rice yield is lost in areas where these stresses are prevalent. To limit such losses, it is imperative that we develop rice varieties that are more resistant to these stresses, either through breeding or by using engineering.
In this project we will test the relevance of loci that were previously identified in a GWAS with respect to drought and salt tolerance by using genome editing. Beneficial alleles will be introduced into existing, high yielding varieties that are commonly grown in Vietnam and the Philippines. Introduction will be achieved via molecular breeding.