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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

Crop Systems Engineering Seminar Series Event

13:00 - 14:00
5 March 2012
Building 44, Room 1061

Event details

“Breeding rice for high grain Zn content and tolerance of Zn deficient soils”, Prof Guy Kirk, Cranfield University

"Breeding rice for high grain Zn content and tolerance of Zn deficient soils", Prof Guy Kirk, Cranfield University

Deficiencies of zinc (Zn) limit crop production in many parts of the world, and Zn is often deficient in the diet of humans subsisting on staple-food crops, causing severe health problems. An important strategy for dealing with this is to breed crops that are efficient in taking up Zn and concentrating it in edible plant parts. Rice is one of the main crops being targeted because of its global importance and the prevalence of Zn deficiency in populations subsisting on rice. Because of the peculiar biogeochemistry of submerged soils, Zn deficiency in the crop is widespread, affecting up to 50% of rice soils globally.

In this talk I will describe continuing research on the chemistry of Zn in submerged soils, the mechanisms of Zn uptake into the rice plant and grains, the genetics of traits associated with these mechanisms, efforts to exploit this in plant breeding, and the long-term sustainability of growing high grain Zn rice under inherently Zn-limited conditions. The research involves soil biogeochemistry, plant physiology, stable isotope geochemistry and mathematical modelling.

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