Cotton Breeding Australia
Genetic and physiological characterisation of cotton sodicity tolerance
Much of Australian cotton is grown on sodic soils with very high clay content and high pH. Excessive Na+ in the soils has a detrimental impact on cotton nutrient uptake and use, and can cause nutrient related stresses and reduce nutrient use efficiency, particularly for K and P.
The effects of Na might limit further increases in yield, so breeding cotton with reduced Na uptake is important to increase cotton sodicity tolerance, to maximise yield and its stability as well as to increase K and P use efficiency.
This is a new PhD training project due to commence in 2019 and aims to gain a better understanding of the Na exclusion mechanism and to identify molecular markers for the trait to facilitate more rapid introgression in the breeding program.
The key outcomes from this joint project on cotton genetics and nutrient use efficiency between CSIRO [via CBA] and Western Sydney University (WSU) are threefold:
- new rapid screening tools for identifying sodicity tolerant cotton breeding lines;
- new scientific evidence on mechanisms of cotton sodicity tolerance;
- new research capacity of applying advanced plant physiology tools in cotton abiotic stress research.