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A Journal on Biotechnology and Molecular Biology


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Minerva Biotecnologica 2016 June;28(2):95-103

language: English

The effects of different levels of salinity on growth and proline accumulation in three pea varieties

Saman JAMIL 1, Sabaz A. KHAN 1, Rafiq AHMAD 1, Saeed A. ASAD 2, Usman IRSHAD 1, Muhammad SHAHZAD 1, Nadeem KHAN 1

1 Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University, Abbottabad, Pakistan; 2 Center for Climate Research and Development, COMSATS University, Chak Shanzad, Islamabad, Pakistan


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BACKGROUND: Plant growth and productivity is adversely affected by various biotic and abiotic stress factors. Salinity is one of the major factors which adversely affects crop growth and yield in arid and semi-arid regions. Therefore, it is necessary to find new potential plants with tolerance to irrigation with saline water.
METHODS: In this study, three pea varieties, i.e., Meteor, Green grass and Climax, were exposed to salt stress for 45 days using seven different levels of NaCl. Chlorotic and necrotic lesions and agronomic data such as number of leaves, shoots, leaf length, shoot length, number of flowers, pods, roots, root length and total dry biomass were measured. Data were analyzed by ANOVA followed by Fischer HSD post-hoc test using Statistica 7.1. Normality was checked by plotting the residuals against the expected normal quantiles.
RESULTS: Detrimental effects of salt stress were much more pronounced at 120 mM level where the number of shoots, leaves, root and shoot length were significantly decreased in all three varieties. However, biomass, number of flowers and pods remained un-effected under different salt stress. Results of this study showed maximum proline accumulation in all the three varieties at 50 mM as compared to all the other treatments.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings offer new perspectives for reaching a better understanding of the role of proline in perceiving and controlling salt stress in pea plants. Analysis of the expression of proline biosynthesis genes in three varieties can be further analyzed through molecular biology approaches. This will provide us with a holistic view of how plants respond to salt stress and enable us to develop advanced strategies to augment and produce salt resistant pea plants.

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