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Ameliorating the impacts of salinity on crop yield by altering root-to-shoot hormonal signalling

Dr Michel Ghanem, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Wednesday 14 April 2010, 1600-1700
Furness Lecture Theatre 1

Soil salinity is an increasing problem for agriculture around the world. While most attention has focused on the role of crop ion accumulation (especially in reproductive organs that contribute to yield), salinity also constitutes an osmotic stress that immediately alters plant hormone relations immediately after stress imposition. Hormonal profiling following stress imposition revealed temporal correlations between leaf growth and senescence and concentrations of the plant hormones cytokinins in roots, xylem sap and leaves. By increasing root cytokinin production through two different approaches (inducible root CK production and grafting a onto a CK overproducing rootstock) we have doubled tomato vegetative growth and increased fruit yield under moderate salinity.