Legume Research

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Legume Research, volume 44 issue 10 (october 2021) : 1144-1151

Cross-tolerance Physiology of Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) Genotypes under Combined Salinity and High Temperature Stress Condition

Trisha Sinha1,*, Ajay Kumar Singh1, Shailesh Kumar1
1Department of Botany, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, Pusa-848 125, Samastipur, Bihar, India.
  • Submitted06-04-2020|

  • Accepted26-09-2020|

  • First Online 29-12-2020|

  • doi 10.18805/LR-4390

Cite article:- Sinha Trisha, Singh Kumar Ajay, Kumar Shailesh (2021). Cross-tolerance Physiology of Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) Genotypes under Combined Salinity and High Temperature Stress Condition . Legume Research. 44(10): 1144-1151. doi: 10.18805/LR-4390.
Background: Chickpea at seedling stage is highly sensitive to salinity and high temperature stress. Many studies explained plant responses under independent salinity and high temperature stress, but very little findings had revealed the combined effects of these two stresses on plants. So, the present experiment was aimed to study the response of chickpea genotypes for growth parameters and stress tolerance indices at seedling stage under individual and combined salinity and high temperature stress.

Methods: A laboratory experiment during rabi season of 2018-2019 was conducted with thirty chickpea genotypes by comparing their responses under different salinity stresses i.e. EC 4.0 dSm-1 and 8.0 dSm-1 and high temperature (37°C). Seedling growth parameters i.e. germination percentage, vigour index and seedling dry weight along with stress tolerance indices like yield stability index and tolerance index were measured for 10-day-old seedlings.

Result: The results revealed genotypic variations for all the parameters, based on which the genotypes KPG-59, IPC 2013-74 and NDG 15-6 were identified as tolerant, whereas KWR-108, BG-3075 and BG-3076 as susceptible. Interestingly, the results also showed that the tolerant genotypes exhibited maximum cross-tolerance at highest level of stress (T5) for germination percentage and vigour index, over control (T0), which might be attributed to their acclimatization while facing different stresses during early growth. So, the genotypic variations in chickpea for these parameters at germination stage might be good criteria for selection of tolerant genotypes under salinity and high temperature individually and also when combined.
Salinity and high temperature are two major abiotic factors in plants due to their huge impacts on their physiology and growth. Salt stress is responsible for inhibited or delayed seed germination and seedling establishment (Bybordi and Tabatabaei, 2009). Temperature changes may affect a number of processes controlling seed germinability (Bidgoly et al., 2018).
       
Chickpea is extremely sensitive to salinity stress during its seedling stage (Shanko et al., 2017). Chickpea, being a cool season pulse crop, is also highly susceptible to high temperatures both at germination and reproductive stage. Many studies have been found to explain plant response mechanisms under independent stress of salinity and high temperature, but very little findings had revealed the combined effects of these two stresses on plants and their responses to counteract the adverse effects. So, selection of tolerant genotypes would be an appropriate strategy to alleviate the adverse effect of salinity and high temperature stress at germination stage. Keeping this view in mind, the present experiment was carried out in order to find out the cross-tolerance response of chickpea genotypes in terms of growth parameters and stress tolerance indices at seedling stage under individual and combined salinity and high temperature stress.
 Thirty chickpea genotypes namely GL-13001, GNG-2325, KPG-59, GCP-105, H-13-36, NDG-15-6, KWR-108, RKG-13-380, BG-3076, CSJ-907, GJG-14-16, BG-3075, H-12-63, RKG-13-75, AKG-1303, RG-2011-02, BAUG-108, IPC-2012-108, RVSSG-54, GL-13037, IPC-2013-74, H-14-11, NDG-15-2, BG-3088, CSJ-868, RG-2015-08, RKG-13-223, KGD-2013-2, BDNG-2015-19 and GJG-1511 were taken from Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Tirhut College of Agriculture, Dholi, Bihar. The experiment was conducted in rabi season of 2018-19 at the laboratory, Department of Botany, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, Pusa, Bihar. Seeds were surface sterilized using 1.0% sodium hypochlorite solution for ten minutes and then washed thoroughly with distilled water. Two saline solutions of 4.0 dSm-1 and 8.0 dSm-1 were prepared using the salt composition of NaCl, CaCl2 and Na2SOin the ratio of 7:2:1. Then twenty five seeds from each genotype were sown with three replications in petriplates lined with filter papers treated with equal volume of distilled water for control (T0) and two saline solutions viz. 4.0 dSm-1 (T1) and 8.0 dSm-1 (T2) for two salinity treatments at room temperature (25±2°C). For inducing high temperature stress, separate petriplates treated with distilled water were kept in seed germinator at 37±2°C (T3). The salt-treated germinated seeds at 4.0 dSm-1 and 8.0 dSm-1 for four continuous days were then placed at the same temperature (37±2°C) in seed germinator for six days with four long hours each day to expose those to combined salinity and high temperature stress (T4 and T5 respectively). Contrasting sets of chickpea genotypes were selected after observing the changes in 10-day-old seedlings on the basis of the seedling parameters i.e. germination percentage (Ruan et al., 2002), vigour index (Abdul-Baki and Anderson, 1973) and seedling dry weight along with different stress tolerance indices like yield stability index (Bouslama and Schapaugh, 1984) and tolerance index (Rosielle and Hamblin, 1981).
       
The data collected from the experiments were subjected to analysis of variance following procedure described by Panse and Sukhatme (1989).
Germination involves many physio-biochemical changes leading to the activation of embryo. In this present experiment, germination percentage (GP) decreased with stress over control for all the genotypes (Table 1). Among the genotypes, KPG-59, IPC-2013-74 and NDG-15-6 recorded highest GP; and KWR-108, BG-3075 and BG-3076 recorded lowest GP under all the treatments over control, with the highest percentage reduction in T5. Salt induced inhibition of GP with increasing salinity concentration over control reported in forage cowpea by Kandil et al., (2017) and in chickpea by Ashagre et al., (2013) could be attributed to osmotic stress (Huang and Redmann, 1995). High temperature induced chickpea too resulted in decreased GP (Naim and Ahmed, 2015). However, it was also evident from these experimental results that the reduction in GP of the better performing genotypes viz. KPG-59, IPC-2013-74 and NDG-15-6 nearly doubled in T1 (5.33, 5.41 and 5.33, respectively) from T3, T2 (10.67, 12.16, 11.33, respectively) from T1 and T4 (21.33, 22.97 and 22.67, respectively) from T2. In T5, exhibited percentage reduction ranged from 25.33 to 25.68 by these genotypes might be attributed to plant’s developed cross-tolerance while facing different stresses during early growth. Shanko et al., (2017) also found significant reduction in GP of chickpea genotypes at lower salinity level, but with increase in salinity level, the rate of reduction in GP was not that much higher than in lower salinity level.
 

Table 1: Effect of individual and combined stress of salinity and high temperature on GP and VI of 10-day-old chickpea genotypes.


       
Vigour index (VI) also showed decreasing pattern with stress from control in this study (Table 1). Similar results obtained by Bina and Bostani (2017) in three medicinal plant species under salt stress, might be attributed to reduced water absorption due to lessened osmotic potential (Ashraf and Harris, 2005). High temperature also recorded poor vigour in black gram (Piramila et al., 2012). The highest vigour was recorded in the genotype KPG-59 followed by IPC-2013-74 and NDG-15-6, whereas the KWR-108, BG-3075 and BG-3076 were the lowest rankers among genotypes. Again, the genotypes KPG-59, IPC-2013-74 and NDG-15-6 recorded nearly two-fold increase in declining VI when shifted to T1 (12.67%, 15.38% and 14.62%) from T3 (5.37%, 5.93% and 6.43% respectively) and T2 (25.88%, 29.78% and 27.46% respectively) from T1. The recorded percentage decrease in VI, varying from 34.33 to 36.98 per cent in T4 and from 42.11 to 43.62 per cent in T5 by these genotypes might be due to acclimatization of plant to some extent while facing different stresses during early growth.
       
Seedling dry weight (SDW) is a potent indicator of plant’s performance under stress. In this present experiment, SDW of all the chickpea genotypes decreased under salinity as well as at high temperature stress condition (Table 2). Similar results of gradual decline in SDW were reported by Singh et al., (2017) in lentil under salinity stress and by Akasha et al., (2019) in rice seedlings in high temperature stress. However, the genotypes KPG-59, IPC-2013-74 and NDG-15-6 recorded minimum decrease in SDW and the genotypes KWR-108, BG-3075 and BG-3076 recorded maximum decrease in SDW for all the treatments over control. Significant percentage reduction in seedling dry weight of the better performing genotypes viz. KPG-59, IPC-2013-74 and NDG-15-6 was observed at T3 (15.79%, 16.74%  and 17.64% respectively), T(24.39%, 24.47% and 25.39%) and T2 (33.19%, 33.69% and 35.06% respectively) over control, but percentage reduction was not as much high as these at T4 (39.07%, 41.21% and 42.80% respectively) and T5 (44.94%, 45.45% and 46.89% respectively). The reason behind it may be the cross-tolerance developed in the plant while facing two stresses one after another.
 

Table 2: Effect of individual and combined stress of salinity and high temperature on SDW (mg) and YSI of 10-day-old chickpea genotypes.


       
Yield stability index (YSI) is a useful index in selection of tolerant genotypes for its parallel relation with dry matter yield (Mohammadi et al., 2010). In this present experiment, the highest YSI was obtained by genotype KPG-59 for all the treatments with the average of 0.685, followed by IPC-2013-74 and NDG-15-6 with the respective average of 0.678 and 0.664, whereas the lowest YSI was obtained by genotype KWR-108, followed by BG-3075 and BG-3076 for all the treatments with the average of 0.589, 0.577 and 0.566, respectively (Table 2). Higher value of YSI by the genotype under stress indicates its tolerance (Singh et al., 2015).
       
Tolerance index (TOL) increased gradually with stress for all the genotypes (Table 3). However, the genotypes KPG-59, NDG-15-6 and IPC-2013-74 recorded lowest increase of TOL for all the treatments over control, with the maximum value of 24.67, 24.23 and 23.53, respectively at T5, indicating that these genotypes had a lower dry matter yield reduction under stress condition, whereas the highest TOL value was found in BG-3075, BG-3076 and KWR-108 with the similar pattern, recording its maximum value of 26.78, 27.78 and 27.76 at T5, indicating these genotypes had a greater dry matter yield reduction in stress condition. Rosielle and Hamblin (1981) stated that genotypes with lower TOL is associated with more tolerance under stress condition than those with higher TOL. Results by Kumawat et al., (2017) in lentil support this.
 

Table 3: Effect of individual and combined stress of salinity and high temperature on TOL of 10-day-old chickpea genotypes.

This study showed that increasing salt concentration as well as elevated temperature caused a significant effect in seedling growth of chickpea genotypes. Individual stress of high temperature was the least affecting factor followed by individual stress of salinity (4.0 dSm-1) with more or less similar effects on seedling growth, but notable effects were prominent at 8.0 dSm-1. Exposure of genotypes to combined stresses significantly affected all the parameters. Interestingly, genotypes responded to individual stresses and showed a patterned decrease in GP, VI and SDW, but rate of decrease slowed under both combined stress treatments for the mentioned parameters. This may be due to the fact that when plant faces one stress followed by another stress, the two stresses may not create additive effects, because of cross-tolerance already developed by plant to cope with the first stress, thus, helping plant becoming more resistant to face the second. In consideration to these and the stress tolerance indices studied in this experiment, KPG-59, IPC-2013-74 and NDG-15-6 were identified as the most tolerant genotypes; whereas KWR-108, BG-3075 and BG-3076 as the most susceptible genotypes. Therefore from this result, it can be concluded that the genotypic variations among chickpea genotypes for these parameters at germination stage might be good criteria for selection of tolerant genotypes under salinity and high temperature stress, individually and also when combined.

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