Approximately 30% of irrigated land has salt-affected soil (Hopmans et al., 2021), equivalent to the area used to produce one-third of the world's food. Salinization and sodification are major soil degrading processes that reduce agricultural productivity, which along with the rapid depletion of groundwater reserves, is a major challenge to global food security (Hopmans et al., 2021). Given that genetic variation is the basis for crop improvement, there are many avenues for researchers to exploit, from identifying traits related to salt tolerance to genetic control of traits using locally adapted plants (crop wild relatives and landraces), genetic populations or mutant variants (Morton et al., 2019; Bohra et al., 2022). There is also great potential to compare and translate findings of genetic regulation of salt stress responses from model plant species to crops through genome editing and gene modifying techniques.
- salt stress
- wild plants