Seed priming and transgenerational drought memory improves tolerance against salt stress in bread wheat

Tahira Tabassum, Muhammad Farooq*, Riaz Ahmad, Ali Zohaib, Abdul Wahid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


This study was conducted to evaluate the potential of seed priming following terminal drought on tolerance against salt stress in bread wheat. Drought was imposed in field sown wheat at reproductive stage (BBCH growth stage 49) and was maintained till physiological maturity (BBCH growth stage 83). Seeds of bread wheat, collected from crop raised under terminal drought and/or well-watered conditions, were subjected to hydropriming and osmopriming (with 1.5% CaCl2) and were sown in soil-filled pots. After stand establishment, salt stress treatments viz. 10 mM NaCl (control) and 100 mM NaCl were imposed. Seed from terminal drought stressed source had less fat (5%), and more fibers (11%), proteins (22%) and total soluble phenolics (514%) than well-watered seed source. Salt stress reduced the plant growth, perturbed water relations and decreased yield. However, an increase in osmolytes accumulation (4–18%), malondialdehyde (MDA) (27–35%) and tissue Na+ contents (149–332%) was observed under salt stress. The seeds collected from drought stressed crop had better tolerance against salt stress as indicated by better yield (28%), improved water relations (3–18%), osmolytes accumulation (21–33%), and less MDA (8%) and Na contents (35%) than progeny of well-watered crop. Seed priming, osmopriming in particular, further improved the tolerance against salt stress through improvement in leaf area, water relations, leaf proline, glycine betaine and grain yield while lowering MDA and Na+ contents. In conclusion, changed seed composition during terminal drought and seed priming improved the salt tolerance in wheat by modulating the water relations, osmolytes accumulation and lipid peroxidation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-369
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • Salinity
  • Seed priming
  • Terminal drought
  • Tolerance
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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