International scientists in Adelaide to discuss dryland salinity
Monday, 16 November 2009
Leading scientists from around the globe converge on Adelaide today to discuss research into dryland salinity and the effect this environmental stress is having on cereal crop yields.
The three-day meeting will feature Stewart Coventry (Barley Breeding Australia) speaking about breeding for salinity tolerance in Southern Australia and Mike Ewing (CRC Future Farm Industries) who will discuss the economic impact of salinity, along with world renowned speakers from Australia and overseas.
"The Genomics of Salinity symposium will bring together local, national and overseas scientists to discuss the genes involved in plant responses to salinity," said Professor Mark Tester, Conference Convener and Professor of Plant Physiology at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) and the University of Adelaide's School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.
"I'm thrilled to be convening this important discussion around how we can help improve plant tolerance to one of Australia's most difficult and costly environmental stressors," he said.
According to the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, increasing salinity levels in our landscape is one of the most significant environmental problems facing Australia.
It is estimated that salinity costs Australian grain growers around $200 million annually, and the problem is worsening. Salinity affects nearly all grain producing areas every year and interacts with other stresses such as drought, reducing plants' ability to tolerate those other stresses.
"The conference is important for South Australia given the impact and severity that salinity has in this state. Researchers need to work together to produce innovative solutions for farmers and consumers," Professor Tester said.
Salinity is a global issue also. On an international scale, 20% of the world's irrigated land is salt affected and one third of the world's food is produced on irrigated land.
The ACPFG will present this symposium, which has attracted more than 100 scientists from Australia and overseas.
Scientists discussing the impact of salinity on Australia's most economically important cereal crops will meet in Adelaide on 16-18 November at the 2009 ACPFG Genomics Symposium at the Grand Chancellor Hotel.
The program includes speakers from United Arab Emirates, Syria, UK, USA, India and Australia.
Australian Plant Phenomics Facility
The University of Adelaide
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Ms Amanda Hudswell
Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics
Mobile: 0403 166 947
Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762