• The project has presented to the register 6 new salinity-tolerant rice varieties

On February 4 and 5, the final meeting of the Neurice (New commercial European RICE) project, with the assistance of the project partners, took place at the Università di Milano (Italy).

The main objective of the Neurice project has been to develop strategies for the productivity, stability and quality of rice by obtaining new commercial varieties of rice from the incorporation of salinity tolerance alleles, in order to provide solutions to the sector front the effects of climate change (both due to the introgression of the Delta and to the salinization of the water itself) and, on the other hand, to the apple snail that does not tolerate saline environments.

Started in March 2016, the Neurice project, through the phenotypic, physiological and genetic selection of a germplasm collection, has obtained salinity tolerance lines from European varieties through introgression of Saltol region, (a chromosomal segment present in the Asian variety FL478, highly tolerant to salinity).

Once the new lines obtained using hydroponic systems were evaluated and validated, field tests were performed under salinity and non-salinity conditions in order to select salinity tolerant lines with commercial potential. The end result has been the presentation to the register of 6 varieties of rice tolerant to the salinity obtained in Spain, France and Italy (2 for each country).

The Neurice project has also been able to implement a salinity control system in saline water treated plots through a remote network of autonomous salinity measurement sensors.