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CO2 increase in the atmosphere augments tolerance of barley to salinity
Date:7/7/2008

This release is available in Spanish.

In future, climate change will bring an increase in salty surfaces on the Earth and in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. However, this higher CO2 has some positive effects on the physiology of barley plants and increases its tolerance to salinity. This is the conclusion of the PhD thesis of Ms Usue Prez-Lpez, defended at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).

Barley is one of the most important crops in the world. In fact 56 million hectares are under barley crops, making it the fourth most grown cereal worldwide. It is widespread over all the Continents, given that it adapts very well in different habitats. As with other plants, the correct development of barley depends on a suitable balance between the availability of water, nutrients and CO2. Nevertheless, it is predicted that there will be an increase in salinity in the soil in future, causing various imbalances which will result in a reduction in the growth of barley.

According to a number of authors, an increase in the CO2 level in the atmosphere may mitigate this growth decrease of the plants caused by high concentration of salts. However, research to date differs as regards results, and it is not known if the increased levels of CO2 can mitigate the negative effects of salinity on barley. This question was addressed by UPV/EHU teacher, Usue Prez-Lpez, in her PhD, presented at the University's Faculty of Science and Technology: Physiological responses of barley to the interaction of salinity and increased CO2. Prospects with climate change. Ms Prez-Lpez, a graduate in Biological Sciences with an Extraordinary Degree Award, carried out her work under the direction of doctors Alberto Muoz-Rueda and Amaia Mena-Petite, from the Department of Plant Biology a
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Contact: Alaitz Ochoa de Eribe
alaitzo@elhuyar.com
34-688-673-679
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert  

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