The present study was conducted to evaluate the physiological and biochemical changes in some thermotolerant and thermosensitive chilli (Capsicum annuum L.) genotypes. Fourteen chilli genotypes (SL 461, PP 404, DL 161, MS 341, VR 521, PB 405, PS 403, SD 463, FL 201, AC 102, S 343, SL 462 and SL 464 along with sensitive check [Royal Wonder of bell pepper] were evaluated for heat tolerance. The observations on morpho-physiological and biochemical parameters were recorded at 45, 65, 85 and 105 days after transplanting (DAT) (high temperature period). On the basis of our studies, genotypes S 343, AC 102 and FL 201 were found to be relatively thermotolerant. However, high temperature markedly decreased the photosynthetic activity of chilli plants by decreasing the photosynthetic pigments in leaf chloroplasts of all the genotypes. The levels of ascorbic acid, total soluble sugars and total phenols increased in the leaves of all the genotypes with the maturity of the crop. Electrolyte leakage and proline content also increased with rise in temperature. Genotypes AC 102 and S 343 were able to accumulate the maximum ascorbic acid, proline, total soluble sugars and total phenols under heat stress conditions. Decrease in fruit set percent led to reduction in the total yield per plant. Maximum yield was observed in genotype S 343 followed by FL 201.
Chilli, High Temperature, Photosynthetic activity, Proline
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