EVALUATION OF SALT AND HEAVY METAL STRESS FOR SEEDLING TRAITS IN WHEAT
Keywords:Triticum aestivum, salinity, heavy metals, germplasm, root length, shoot length
AbstractWheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is an important cereal crop of the world. It is one of the staple foods for major portion of world population. There are various biotic and abiotic factors responsible for low production of wheat in our country. Among these factors, soil salinity is major problem playing an important role in soil degradation, thus consequently reducing wheat production and quality. This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of various salinity and heavy metal levels against three wheat cultivars fir salinity resistance. Three different varieties of wheat were screened against the salinity under controlled conditions in the laboratory of tissue culture, University of Lahore. Seeds of three wheat varieties (Anaj-2006, Faisalabad-2008 and Inqalab-91) were sown in seedling trays. NaCl and CuSO4 were applied as salinity and heavy metal treatment upon wheat cultivars. In order to evaluate, hazardous effects of salinity and heavy metal on wheat certain growth parameters were observed i.e. leaf length and width, leaf area, stem and root length, fresh and dry weight of leaf, stem and root, root shoot length ratio and photometry of leaf, stem and root was measured. Results depicts salinity and heavy metal application has negative correlation with growth parameters of wheat particularly combine application of NaCl and CuSo4 have led to impose major detrimental effects on wheat cultivars. Regarding varietal comparison, “Anaj-2006” proved to be comparatively better in context of less salt’s residual accumulation in leaf, stem and roots along with lower root to shoot length ratio thus exhibiting a strong genetic potential to keep surviving and maintain healthy growth. However, it was concluded that salinity and heavy metal have adversely affected growth and yield potential of “Faisalabad-2008”. So conclusively, there is dare need to screen out indigenous and exotic wheat germplasm available throughout the country for finding some suitable genetic resources having moderate to high resistance levels against salinity and heavy metal which can be further used for breeding purpose in varietal improvement program.
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