Historically, scientists and laymen have regarded salinity as a hazar- dous, detrimental phenomenon. This negative view was a principal reason for the lack of agricultural development of most arid and semi- arid zones of the world where the major sources of water for biological production are saline. The late Hugo Boyko was probably the first scientist in recent times to challenge this commonly held, pessimistic view of salinity. His research in Israel indicated that many plants can be irrigated with saline water, even at seawater strength, if they are in sandy soil - a technique that could open much barren land to agriculture. This new, even radical, approach to salinity was clearly enunciated in the book he edited and most appropriately entitled 'Salinity and Aridity: New Approaches to Old Problems' (1966). A decade later, three members of the United States National Science Foundation (NSF), Lewis Mayfield, James Aller and Oskar Zaborsky, formulated the 'Biosaline Concept'; namely, that poor soils, high solar insolation and saline water, which prevail in arid lands, should be viewed as useful resources rather than as disadvantages, and that these resources can be used for non-traditional production of food, fuels and chemicals. The First International Workshop on Biosaline Research was con- vened at Kiawah Island, South Carolina, in 1977 by A. San Pietro.
Section 1: Mechanisms of salt tolerance in algae and terrestrial plants.- Adaptation to salinity at the plant cell level.- Some mechanisms of salt tolerance in crop plants.- Physiology of halophytes.- The cost to plants of different strategies of adaptation to stress and the alleviation of stress by increasing assimilation.- Mechanisms of response to salinity in halotolerant microalgae.- The effect of compatible solutes on proteins.- Section 2: Production of micro and macroalgae with saline water.- Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria): prospects and perspectives.- Cyanobacterial biomass production in saline media.- The potential of production of sulfated polysaccharides from Porphyridium.- Problems in developing the biotechnology of algal biomass production.- Macroalgae (seaweeds): industrial resources and their utilization.- Outdoor cultivation of sea vegetables.- Section 3: Crop production with saline water.- Salt-tolerant crops: origins, development and prospects of the concept.- Genetics of salt tolerance in higher plants: theoretical and practical considerations.- Principles and strategies in breeding for higher salt tolerance.- Selection and breeding for salinity tolerance in vitro.- Crop production and management under saline conditions.- Crop tolerance to saline sprinkling water.- Fertilization management of crops irrigated with saline water.- Effect of salinity on quality of various agricultural crops.- Section 4: Seawater agriculture.- Agricultural production of halophytes irrigated with seawater.- Halophytic crops for cultivation at seawater salinity.- Developing the seawater agriculture concept.- Section 5: Mariculture.- The present situation and problems of mariculture in Japan.