The major population of the world is dependent on rice for food. Global warming creates drought conditions mostly in north eastern countries. It is a very challenging task to cultivate drought-sensitive variety in drought-prone areas. To overcome this problem we induced changes in the drought-sensitive variety of rice (Swarna MTU 7029) for drought tolerance. Drought condition was exposed for 7 days and 14 days to SA treated and untreated 56 days old rice plants. Rice seeds were presoaked with 0.5mM SA. The experiment was designed in four groups control (untreated), drought -SA, drought +SA, and SA control. On the 7th and 14th of drought stress, SA improved drought tolerance indicator proline, carotenoid, and total soluble sugar. Starch and protein content were augmented in salicylic acid-treated plants compared to untreated rice plants under drought stress. Antioxidants such as SOD, CAT, and APX levels drastically increased in salicylic acid-treated plants during both 7th and 14th days of drought stress. Therefore, salicylic acid improved antioxidative enzymes content in MTU 7029 rice variety after 7 and 14 days of drought stress.
Key words: Drought, Rice crop, Abiotic Stress, Salicylic acid, Antioxidative enzymes, Presoaking