An Indian scientist has produced a rice hybrid tolerant to saline conditions using a tissue culture-based method known as the "embryo rescue technique" (Current Science, Vol 67, Nos 9 and 10). K K Jena of Osmania University, Hyderabad, crossed high-yielding varieties of rice -- which are extremely sensitive to saline conditions -- with an unrelated species of grass, Porteresia coarctata, to produce the hybrid.
Although successful attempts of transferring salt tolerant genes have been demonstrated in tomato and wheat, this is the first successful attempt to transfer these genes in rice.
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