A webinar entitled ‘eHALOPH – a database of salt-tolerant plants’ informed the audience that the database eHALOPH could be used for exploring traits linked to salt tolerance and for selection of species for saline agriculture, bioremediation, and rehabilitation of the degraded lands.
Professor Dr Tim Flowers from the University of Sussex United Kingdom, who is one of the leading halophyte biologists of the world, delivered the lecture at the Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization University of Karachi.
He mentioned that eHALOPH is a database of salt-tolerant plants—halophytes, which consists of the records of plant species tolerant of salt concentrations of about 80 mm sodium chloride or more, along with data on plant type, life form, ecotypes, presence or absence of salt glands, photosynthetic types, antioxidants, secondary metabolites, compatible solutes, habitat, economic usages and published articles about germination, microbial interactions, mycorrhizal status, bioremediation and molecular data of halophytes.
Professor Dr Flowers informed participants about the taxonomic information of halophytes and mentioned that the database of salt-tolerant plants has been updated and the geographical distribution of species has been enriched with the help of Google maps.
According to him, the database can be used with or without registration. Professor Flowers said that registration is a simple process and only requires the provision of a name, an email address, the country in which the user lives/works, and their institution or department. The registered users could download data in the form of a file compatible with excel.
“At present, this database includes 1,280 records of salt-tolerant plants, belonging to 123 plant families, and with the Amaranthaceae having almost a quarter of all halophytes.”
The KU MAK-ISHU organized the webinar in connection with ‘Professor Dr M Ajmal Khan Memorial Lecture Series’. Earlier, the Director MAK-ISHU, Professor Dr Bilquees Gul, informed participants about the objectives and importance of the webinar, which was attended by a large number of research students, faculty, and people interested in saline agriculture from Pakistan, China, USA, Germany, Australia, and Tunisia.