High intrinsic seed Zn concentration improves abiotic stress tolerance in wheat

Muhammad Faran, Muhammad Farooq*, Abdul Rehman, Ahmad Nawaz, Muhammad Kamran Saleem, Nauman Ali, Kadambot H.M. Siddique

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Abiotic stresses are threatening wheat productivity across the globe, which is often associated with nutrient deficiencies. Zinc (Zn) is involved in many physiological processes of plants, and high intrinsic seed Zn concentrations may help to improve the resistance of wheat to abiotic stresses. Methods: Three separate experiments evaluated the effect of intrinsic seed zinc on bread wheat resistance to abiotic stresses, viz. waterlogging, drought and salinity. One-week-old wheat seedlings raised from seeds containing either 49 mg (high), 42 mg (medium), or 35 mg (low) Zn kg−1 grain were exposed to waterlogging or drought stress for one week or until harvest. Salinity stress was applied at sowing for one week or until harvest. Results: Plants with high intrinsic seed Zn performed better than those with medium or low Zn concentrations under each stress, including lower malondialdehyde contents and total antioxidant activities and more proline. The grain yield in plants from high, medium and low seed Zn concentrations increased by 10.5–48%, 12.2–21.5% and 7.7–21% under waterlogging, drought and salinity stress, respectively. Conclusion: Plants with high intrinsic seed Zn concentrations produced higher wheat grain yields than those with lower levels under abiotic stress by reducing oxidative damage and improving the growth and uptake of nutrients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-213
Number of pages19
JournalPlant and Soil
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 14 2019


  • Drought
  • Nitrogen
  • Potassium
  • Root growth
  • Salinity
  • Seed Zn
  • Stay-green
  • Waterlogging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science

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