During the first year of the project, different Spanish, French and Italian elite rice strains have been crossed with asiatic salt-tolerant lines. Hundred strains of seeds selected for their tolerance to salinity will be evaluated this winter in hydroponic tests. The most successful will be tested in saline and non-saline fields during the 2018 and 2019 campaigns.
The NEURICE project has also begun to monitor the salinity of some saline fields in Spain, France and Italy in order to conduct trials of new salt tolerant varieties of rice being developed. For several months, the salinity of the water and the soil of the rice fields, the height of the water’s surface and the salinity of the water flowing in and out of fields will be monitored closely.
Next season, the new strains of rice are expected to be ready for planting, so that they can be evaluated in both saline and non-saline fields.
The UB is conducting a parallel protein study of the rice varieties that are most tolerant to salinity from around the world in order to determine the mechanism that allows these plants to grow in highly saline environments.