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Exogenous application of ascorbic acid stimulates growth and photosynthesis of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) under drought

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Author(s): Samina Malik and Muhammad Ashraf

Journal: Soil & Environment
ISSN 2074-9546

Volume: 31;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 72;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Wheat | drought | ascorbic acid | net photosynthesis | growth | chlorophyll

ABSTRACT
Drought causes considerable reduction in plant growth. A hydroponic experiment was conducted to appraise the potential role of exogenously applied ascorbic acid in alleviating the effect of drought on wheat. Two contrasting wheat genotypes, a drought tolerant cultivar Chakwal-86 and a drought sensitive strain 6544-6 were used in the study. Drought was induced by dissolving 20% Polyethylene glycol (PEG8000) in the nutrient solution producing -0.6MPa osmotic stress. Drought caused a significant decrease in chlorophyll pigments and net photosynthesis resulting in growth reduction of both wheat genotypes. However, this decrease was more severe in the genotype 6544-6 compared to Chakwal-86. Ascorbic acid (AsA) was applied through rooting medium, as a foliar spray and seed soaking treatment. Ascorbic acid treated seedlings of both genotypes maintained higher chlorophyll contents, net photosynthesis and growth compared to the non-treated plants. Of the three different modes of ascorbic acid application, rooting medium was more effective in alleviating the adversities of drought in wheat. `
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