Plant growth and development are adversely affected by salinity- a major environmental stress that limits agricultural production. Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is sensitive to salinity that affects its yield and there is need to identify the tolerant genotypes. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of salinity on chickpea genotypes with specific physiological and biochemical attributes contributing to their adaptability to salinity stress. Seven chickpea genotypes both desi (ICC8950, ICCV10, ICC15868, GL26054) and kabuli (BG1053, L550, L552) were evaluated for salinity tolerance. Maximum decrease in relative leaf water content and chlorophyll content was observed with ICC15868 and GL26054 among the desi and L552 from the kabuli genotypes. The photosynthetic pigments, activity of nitrate reductase and relative leaf water content was also reduced in response to salt application with effect being more pronounced in ICC15868, GL26054 and L552 as compared to ICC8950, ICCV10, BG1053 and L550. Lipid peroxidation increases with the increase in NaCl concentration, maximum increment was observed in genotypes ICC15868, GL26054 and L552. Accumulation of proline in response to environmental stresses seems to be widespread among plants. Higher protein fractions were observed with tolerant genotypes in contrast to sensitive genotypes. Salt imposed stress finally caused a higher decline in number of filled pods. On the basis of physiological and biochemical parameters genotypes ICC8950 and ICCV10 from the desi genotypes and BG1053 and L550 from kabuli were identified as the tolerant while ICC15868, GL26054 as the sensitive ones and L552 as the moderately tolerant genotypes. These genotypes could be used as a source of tolerance in breeding programme to develop salt tolerant genotypes.
Biochemical, Chickpea, Physiological, Salinity
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