Salt Stress Project
Recently, a few halophytes, in addition to the model plant Arabidopsis, have been used to understand the underlying physiological and genetic basis of salt tolerance. Recovered rice plants that were subjected to salinity stress at seedling stage. WT (left) and transgenic (right) plants showing differences in height and seed set. Transgenic rice plants (right) with salt-induced gene from Spartina alterniflora showing tolerance against salt stress while WT control plants show susceptible symptoms.
In our laboratory, we are researching ecologically important smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora Loisel), which contributes to tidal marsh restoration and shoreline protection of the salt-marsh ecosystems, as a model grass halophyte, and a salt-tolerant rice landrace "Pokkali" to identify salt-responsive novel/superior alleles and/or regulatory transcriptional machineries.
Our ultimate goal is to translate the knowledge and exploit the resources toward development of salt-tolerant rice (that can be extended to other field crops as well) using molecular/precision-breeding techniques.