Halophytes are plants that can tolerate extreme
saline conditions and some of them have the ability to grow in saline coastal deserts.
They can be further tapped for a source of food, fodder and energy. Salicornia a
succulent herb native to salt marshes and estuaries is promising because it can
grow directly in seawater and is already in the food and feed chains. I am
particularly interested to use next generation sequencing technologies to
understand the genetic basis for salt stress adaptation and identification of
traits that can be regulated to accelerate domestication process in Salicornia
and other halophytes. The
genomics data will provide landscape of ordered genes and its functions in
halophyte and has a practical advantage for selection and breeding in crop
improvement. Unavailability of suitable
and improved germplasm for economically useful traits is another bottleneck in
accelerating domestication process in Salicornia. I am also focusing to improve Salicornia
germplasm through classical selection and breeding.