b'INTERNATIONAL NEWSGLOBAL SEED WATCHUNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA SCIENTISTS DISCOVERY COULD STRENGTHEN CROPS AGAINST SALINITY, CANADIAN CANOLA LOSING EXPORT STATUS TO CHINA, AND INDIA ESTABLISHING A MAIZE DOUBLED HAPLOID FACILITY. STATUS AUSTRALIA in Western Australia. Farmers in affected areas see crop yields reduced by more than a quarter.Scientists from The University of Western Australia have discov- UWA PEB Dr. Nicolas Taylor, lead author of the study, said ered two enzymes that explain the sensitivity of wheat plants tomore robust varieties of wheat would not only reduce yield losses, salty soils. it would allow farmers to reclaim land currently too saline for The findings could lead to advances that strengthen cropswheat crops. against salinity, an issue costing WA farmers more than $500 million a year.Published in the journal New Phytologist the researchSTATUS CANADAfrom the UWA School of Molecular Sciences, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology (PEB) and The NationalThe drama continues surrounding Chinas refusal to accept University of Malaysia describes two enzymes in wheat that areCanadian canola.especially sensitive to salt and that appear to be the weak link thatViterra is the second Canadian grain company to lose its leads to plant death in saline soils. canola export status in China. The news comes just weeks after The researchers also discovered wheat has a natural defenceChina announced it had revoked the sales licence for canola sup-system that can bypass one of the sensitive enzymes, partiallyplier Richardson International.protecting against salt.China says the move was related to pests and disease Salinity is a global agricultural issue, and in Australia itdetected in the crop, although no evidence was presented show-affects more than 2 million hectares of farmland, half of which ising Canadian canola has phytosanitary issues. Its believed that Chinas actions in regard to canola stem from Canadas arrest of a Huawei executive late last year.China has been a major market for Canadian canola, accounting for approximately 40% of all canola seed, oil and meal exports. Canola seed exports to China were worth $2.7 billion in 2018. Demand has been very strong until recent disruptions. STATUS INDIAThe International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the University of Agricultural Sciences-Bangalore (UAS-Bangalore) have signed a collaboration agree-ment for establishing a maize doubled haploid (DH) facility at the Agricultural Research Station in Kunigal (ARS-Kunigal), Tumkur district, Karnataka state, India.CIMMYT will establish and operate the maize DH facil-ity, including field activities and the associated laboratory. Occupying 12 acres of land, the facility is estimated to produce at least 30,000 DH lines a year. CIMMYT hopes the facility to be operational by the last quarter of 2019.The maize DH facility, funded by the CGIAR Research Program on Maize (MAIZE), fulfills a very important require-ment of the region. It has the potential to accelerate maize breed-ing and hybrid development and significantly increase genetic gains through maize breeding in Asia. The maize doubled haploid facilitywill be the first of its kind in the public domain in Asia, said S. Rajendra Prasad, Vice Chancellor of UAS-Bangalore. The work done at this facil-ity will certainly benefit the farmers of the state, country and the Asian region, by accelerating maize breeding and improving efficiencies. 50IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'