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Everyone has been hearing in the news about how we are in a really dry year, with our driest autumn since the 1902 Federation drought. We are hearing about lambs surviving on onions or being culled, cattle being fed watermelon and farmers resorting to orange peel as feed due to the drought. Insufficient rainfall also contributes to the problem of soil salinity which negatively influences plant productivity. So how can we better prepare ourselves so that dry and saline conditions are less limiting for future plant productivity?
There are a range of biotechnological strategies that can be used to help us to improve crop performance. We can use these technologies to change the genetics of our crop plants so that the plants are better adapted to dry and saline growing environments.
Dr Caitlin Byrt of University of Adelaide and her team recently discovered a novel feature of plant water channels that influences salt transport. They are studying the relationship between this mechanism and crop drought and salt tolerance towards engineering crops that are better adapted to dry and saline conditions to try and help secure future crop productivity.
Presented by Dr Caitlyn Byrt on behalf of Tall Poppy Campaign, Australian Institute of Policy & Science
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Flinders @ Tonsley - Level 2, Seminar Space 2.46 (Under MAB - via Gate 1 Flinders Uni if entry via South Road or Gate 8 then left of Central Forest if entry via Alawoona Avenue) Tonsley Innovation District (former Mitsubishi site) 1284 South Road TONSLEY, SA 5042