Monday, December 02, 2019

Testing barley's salt tolerance is a numbers game

Factors influencing the tolerance of barley to saline soils have been uncovered using an advanced robust statistical technique.


​Plant scientists are striving to cultivate crops that can cope with saline soils in the hope that this may help feed the world’s growing population, particularly in the face of climate change. Now, KAUST researchers have applied a newly developed robust statistical technique to examine how different barley plant traits affect yields grown in saline and nonsaline conditions.

“The problem with traditional regression analyses is that they focus on finding the average, or mean, of a given distribution,” says Gaurav Agarwal, who worked on the project under the guidance of his supervisor Ying Sun and in collaboration with plant scientists Stephanie Saade and Mark Tester.

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Image: Barley crops in a field trial.
© 2019 KAUST

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