Salinity stress negatively affects the growth and development of wheat leading to diminished grain yield and quality. Salt stress during reproductive stage is one of the significant factors leading to the drastic reduction in grain yield. The objective of this study was to investigate the biochemical responses of pre-anthesis stage salt stress and yield related traits in KRL1-4 salt tolerant and UP2338 salt sensitive cultivar of Wheat. Three different levels of salinity stress (100, 200 and 300 mM NaCl) was induced. Untreated plants were kept as control. Samples were analyzed at pre- anthesis stage (50 DAS and 60 DAS) for various biochemical parameters viz., proline content, total reducing sugar content, total nitrogen content and total protein content. Yield related traits harvest index, tiller numbers per plant, spike height and spike weight were recorded at maturity stage. The amount of proline and reducing sugar increased with increasing salinity, the increase being more in tolerant than in sensitive cultivar. Total nitrogen and total protein content, however, decreased with increasing salt concentration and reduction being more in sensitive than in tolerant cultivar. Yield attributes were affected negatively. The effect was more pronounced in sensitive cultivar compared to tolerant.
Key words: Salinity, pre-anthesis, osmolytes, harvest index