Screening ofa large range of rice germ plasm collected at different saline areas in Indialed to the identification of several genotypes that are extremely salt tolerant(Bhattacharya, 1976) (see Table 17).Table 17 SALT-TOLERANT RICE VARIETIES FROM DIFFERENT STATESIN INDIA (Bhattacharya, 1976)
Though most of these rice varieties are highlytolerant of salinity, all the varieties are tall indica and photosensitive typesand have a low yield potential compared to the dwarf high-yielding types.
Mostpublished work (Pearson, 1959, 1961; Kaddah and Fakkry, 1961) tends to indicatethat while rice can tolerate a high concentration of salts at germination (up to30 dS/m) it is sensitive to salinity in the early growth stages and that thetolerance increases with age during the tillering phase of growth.
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With new technologies come new risks, trade-offs, and benefits. There is little question that if improperly managed, the advantage provided by GE crops can quickly be negated (e.g., glyphosate tolerant weed species have erupted across the United States due to over-reliance on glyphosate and glyphosate-tolerant GE crops). In the same account, properly managed GE crops offer the potential to continue to meet global nutrition demands, minimize soil degradation, open new areas to stable crop production (these areas tend to be most hit by starvation and nutrient deficiency), and open a whole new world of custom crafted crops that can be used for specific health purposes (like Golden Rice). There are a lot of food/nutrition problems around the globe, but they are very different between the developed and developing worlds, and these differences need to be accounted for in evaluations. Harm mitigation is not a popular approach in the United States as we prefer an “all in” or “all out” position on things. I come back to the Golden Rice example, where the risks of potential future harm are seemingly dwarfed by the immediate, real, and measured harm that otherwise exists.
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It is seen that beans andsugarbeet are more sensitive to salts at germination than are alfalfa andbarley.Information on the relative tolerance of rice to salinity atvarious growth stages was reviewed by Ikehashi and Ponnamperuma (1978).
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Information on tolerance to sodicconditions is summarized in a subsequent section.Although rice is not tolerant to excess salinity, it is a cropfavoured in saline soils and, in fact, is preferred over other tolerant cropsduring the initial stages of reclamation of many saline soils.
Prevention and control of mycotoxins
Tolerance tosalinity at germination is usually not of much significance since in most ricegrowing areas rice is grown in a nursery in a good soil and then transplantedwhen the seedlings are 20 to 40 days old.