, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 155-162

Carbohydrate and Proline Contents in Leaves, Roots, and Apices of Salt-Tolerant and Salt-Sensitive Wheat Cultivars1

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Intra-specific variations in nonstructural carbohydrates and free proline were determined in leaves, apices, roots, and maturing seeds of two salt-tolerant cultivars (CR and Kharchia-65) and one salt-sensitive cv. Ghods of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown in sand culture at various levels of salinity (0, 100, 200, and 300 mM NaCl and CaCl2 at 5 : 1 molar ratio) under controlled environmental conditions. The levels of leaf, apex, and root ethanol-soluble carbohydrates, fructans, starch, and proline increased in line with elevating level of salinity in all three cultivars under investigation. The contents of proline, soluble and insoluble carbohydrates in the apex increased to levels exceeding those in the leaves and roots. Soluble carbohydrate content of salt-sensitive cv. Ghods was higher in the leaves, apices, and roots and lower in the maturing seeds than in the other cultivars at all levels of salinity except at 300 mM. The results show considerable variation in the amount of soluble, insoluble sugars, and proline among plant tissues and wheat genotypes in response to salinity. Higher soluble carbohydrates and fructan in leaves, roots and maturing seeds of stressed plants indicate that their accumulation may help plant to tolerate salinity. Salt-sensitive cv. Ghods accumulated less soluble sugars in the maturing seeds and higher soluble sugars in the apices, which might be used as an indicator in screening wheat genotypes for salinity tolerance.