New commercial European RICE (NEURICE) harbouring salt tolerance alleles to protect the rice sector against climate change and apple snail (Pomacea insularum) invasion.

The general objectives of this Consortium are:

  • To identify new salt tolerant varieties and new salt tolerance alleles using phenotypical, physiological and genetic screening of germplasm collection and complimentary approaches of Genome Wide Association Study Mapping (GWAS) and linkage mapping in biparental RIL lines.
  • To obtain advanced lines with improved salt tolerance by introgressing Saltol, a chromosome segment carrying a salt tolerance gene from highly salt tolerant Asian varieties into European elite varieties from Spain, Italy and France using marker assisted backcross  selection.
  • To perform salinity assays in controlled conditions using hydroponic systems to validate rice salt tolerant line.
  • To evaluate rice lines quality and productivity in large salinized field trials in order to select potentially commercial lines and register the best lines in terms of productivity in high salinity conditions, as well as in terms of quality for both industrial and nutritional.

The partners selected for this proposal include European teams with outstanding expertise in rice genotyping/phenotyping and top worldwide teams in biotechnology from third-country partners (i.e. Argentina and People’s Republic of China).