Salt stress affects germination and seedling establishment in different wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) varieties

Hina Nazeer, Mamoona Rauf, Humaira Gul, Tabassum Yaseen, Adnan Ali Shah and Khushnood Ur Rehman

ABSTRACT    Salt stress is a very important factor worldwide as it reduces the agricultural production of many crops. This project was aimed to determine the effect of salt stress on the process of germination and seedling establishment of six Triticum aestivum varieties (Fakhr e Sarhad, Insaf, Lalma, Tatora, Bathoor, and Barsat). Five seeds of six Triticum aestivum cultivars were placed in each Petri-plate. Seeds were treated with different concentrations (0, 50 mM, and 150 mM) of NaCl. After 8 days, the experiment was terminated and germination percentage, seedling length, seedlings biomass were recorded, while relative water content (RWC), vigor index (VI), root shoot ratio (RSR), stem weight ratio (SWR), root weight ratio (RWR), and stress tolerance index of different parameters were calculated. Analyzing results, it was observed that salt stress damage plant at observed stages in the form of the drastic and significant reduction in germination percentage, shoot length, root length, fresh weight, dry weight, RWC, VI, plant height stress tolerance index (PHSI), root length stress tolerance index (RLSI), stem fresh weight tolerance index (SFTI), root fresh weight stress tolerance index (RFTI), stem dry weight stress tolerance index (SDTI), root dry weight stress tolerance index (RDTI), SWR, and RWR while RSR. Reduction percentages of different parameters were increased as salt stress levels. In this study, it was concluded, among six cultivars, variety Lalma showed higher salt-tolerance (@150mM NaCl) at germination-stage (0% reduction) as well as seedling-establishment stage as compared to the other cultivars based on measured parameters shoot length (57% reduction), root length (32% reduction), fresh weight (38% reduction), dry weight (40% reduction), RWC (21% reduction), VI (35% reduction), SWR (69% reduction), RWR (63% reduction), RSR (297% increase). This variety can be used for cultivation on soils suffering from salinity stress in Pakistan. © 2020 Department of Agricultural Sciences, AIOU

Keywords: Germination, Relative water contents, Seedling growth, Stress tolerance index, Vigor index, Wheat

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