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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program                                                            
Phase 1 (2005 Deadline)

Gene Pyramiding through Genetic Engineering for Increased Salt Tolerance in Wheat

Eduardo Blumwald, University of California, Davis
Anjuman Arif, National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering
Pakistani Funding (MoST): $  47,880
US Funding:   $350,000
Project Dates on US Side: January 1, 2006 - June 30, 2010 (Completed)

Project Overview

This project was aimed at developing salt-tolerant wheat varieties that will grow and produce high yields in areas where the soils have high salt content or are irrigated with brackish ground water, conditions common in many parts of Pakistan. The researchers involved in this project worked to achieve their goals by pyramiding two well-characterized salt tolerance genes (the Arabidopsis thaliana vacuolar sodium proton antiporter AtNHX1 and a heat shock family-related transcription factor isolated from Candida tropicalis CtHSR1) introduced in wheat by Agrobacterium-mediated co- or stepwise transformation. 

Major Results

  • Transformed wheat and rice plants with CtHSR 1 and AtNHX1, tested single traits (both in rice and wheat) in greehouse, initiated crossing experiments, and advanced significantly in the characterization of single traits
  • Provided long-term training experience at UC Davis for two Pakistani researchers and involved a total of 16 scientists, junior researchers, and students
  • Published four papers
  • Established new collaborations with four other international experts in wheat transformation and wheat breeding

Progress Report Summaries

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