|ACHARYA, BISWA - University Of California
Submitted to: Progressive Crop Consultant
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/9/2019
Publication Date: 9/16/2019
Citation: Sandhu, D., Acharya, B. 2019. Mechanistic insight into the salt tolerance of almonds. Progressive Crop Consultant. 4(5):44-49.
Technical Abstract: Salinity is one of the main abiotic stresses faced by the agriculture industry. Modest increase in soil salinity level impacts both plant growth and yield by causing several physiological and biochemical changes. Salt tolerance level is directly dependent on the functional status of various molecular components that play critical roles to protect plant during salt stress. Almond is a salt sensitive plant. Almond rootstock plays an important role in regulating plant growth in salinity stressed environment. Some tolerant rootstocks have been identified by screenings for salinity tolerance. Tissue Na concentration is commonly used as a guide for the salinity tolerance in almonds. There is negative correlation between tissue Na or Cl concentration and the salt tolerance level. One of our recent studies indicates that photosynthetic rate to be the most reliable parameter to examine salinity tolerance. Molecular mechanisms of salt tolerance or salt sensitivity is largely unknown in Almonds. Nevertheless, differential gene expression has been observed for ion transporters and channels in response to salt stress in leaf and roots. Transcriptome analysis of almond in response to salt stress may identify specific almond genes contributing toward salt tolerance. Identification and characterization of genes regulating ion uptake, effective compartmentalization, and tissue tolerance may provide new means to develop almond varieties with enhanced salinity tolerance. Almond community should employ multipronged approaches including genome editing technology (CRISPR/Cas9 system) to understand salt tolerance mechanisms and to develop better salt tolerant varieties of almond.