Improvement of Rice Breeding for Salinity Tolerance

Dejen Bekis


Rice is one of the most significant food crop of the world. The production of rice is the second-highest in the world. Salinity is a serious constraint to increase rice production worldwide. Review of recent efforts achieved towards rice breeding for salinity tolerance has a paramount importance beside for rice production improvement in Ethiopia. Rice is a relatively new crop to Ethiopia; however, the crop is relatively well adapted to different parts of the country. Salinity is a problem of many irrigated, arid and semi-arid areas of the world where rain fall is insufficient to leach out salts from the root zone. Typical symptoms of salt injury in rice are stunted growth, leaf rolling, white leaf tip, white blotches in the leaf blade, drying of the older leaves and poor root growth. The main mechanisms of salt tolerance are control of salt uptake, reducing damage under excessive ion uptake and osmotic adjustment. The three major breeding approaches for salinity tolerant varietal development are conventional breeding, marker assisted selection and genetic engineering. Conventional rice breeding approaches exercised for thousands of years. But, the progress is slow, due to the time consuming process, the quantitative nature of most agronomic traits make difficulties in genotypes selection. However, modern breeding is more precise and efficient and easily identify undesirable genes that can be eliminated in future generations. In rice, markers like RAPDs, AFLPs, ISSRs and SSRs have been used. Among these DNA markers, SSRs is highly preferable for gene tagging and mapping efforts. The development of salt-tolerant variety by transgenic way needs more investigation. To date, transgenic salt tolerant variety has not yet reached at farmers’ field. In Ethiopia a little beat was done to identify rice genotypes adaptable to adverse saline soil conditions. From here on, more research findings highly crucial for the development of salinity tolerant rice varieties in the country. Therefore, it is a good opportunity for rice breeders to develop salt tolerant high yielding varieties in Ethiopia.

Keywords: Conventional breeding, Genetic engineering, Marker-assisted selection, Rice, Salt tolerance

DOI: 10.7176/JEES/10-5-02

Publication date:May 31st 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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