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Sergey Shabala



Dept. of Botany & Microbiology, College of Science, Building (5)

Office: 2B34


Project Title

Salinity tissue tolerance mechanisms in date palms (Phoenix dactylifera)

Project Summary

The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) is a species of a major economic importance for Saudi Arabia. In addition, date palms possess a superior salinity stress tolerance and, as such, represent a highly convenient model organism to understand the molecular and physiological basis of salinity trait, opening prospects of marker-assisted breeding salt tolerant and high-yielding date palm. By having such date palm one may be able to save drinking water by using partially saline water mixtures in irrigation regimes.

Salinity tolerance is a highly complicated trait (both physiologically and genetically), and is comprised of multiple sub-traits. One of them (and arguably the most critical) is a salinity tissue tolerance trait – e.g. an ability of plant cells to maintain normal operation despite accumulating significant amounts of Na in plant tissues. This project will utilise cutting-edge advanced electrophysiological techniques to reveal the nature of physiological and molecular mechanisms behind salinity tissue tolerance in date palms