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The availability and quality of soil water are the major environmental factors that limit the potential of a plant to maximize growth and reproductive productivity: the major components of yield for crop plants. The 2018 GRC on Salinity and Water Stress in Plants will focus on shoot and root adaptations to abiotic stress, crop productivity, and food security. The conference will bring together researchers from academia, government, and industry with expertise from molecular systems to trait development to discuss progress in elucidating mechanisms and managing challenges associated with water availability and salinity on both agriculture and ecosystems. The meeting will address recent advances in understanding water and salt stress tolerance and resistance and will highlight insights emerging from natural genetic variation, advanced breeding and engineered solutions. Talks will consider mechanisms - from the molecular to the organismic level - that influence cellular activities, developmental programs and whole-plant physiology. Emphasis will be placed on the breadth of impact water and salinity have on plants, their relevance to world food security, and how information gained from model and non-model systems can be translated to crops. Topics will include new knowledge of stress signaling and transduction, ion and water homeostasis, photosynthesis, gene and response regulatory systems, as well as developmental plasticity. How we maintain plant productivity in the face of changing environments and shifting distribution ranges as the limits to plant plasticity are reached will also be addressed. In addition to invited speakers, there will be presentations selected from submitted abstracts and applications, ensuring that late-breaking developments are fully represented.