Physiological response of wheat seeds grown under NaCl and HgCl2 stress

Jibrin Ashiru Ibrahim, Aisha Auwal, Vimlendu Bhushan Sinha


Background: Plants are continuously exposed to various abiotic and biotic stresses like cold, high temperature, drought, salinity and exposure to heavy metals. However, it is also argued that the effect of these stresses on the germination of seeds represents the most critical aspect of plant survival. The aim of the study was to observe the differences in germination potential of seeds in the presence of salt and heavy metal stress.

Methods: The seeds were germinated under the effect of NaCl (0, 25, 50, 75, 100mM) and HgCl2 (0.001, 0.01, 0.1 and 1 ppm), Timson’s index was calculated as a growth identifier, average shoot length and RWC was calculated for surviving seedlings.  

Results: Germination rate was observed to decrease with increasing concentrations of the NaCl and HgCl2. The maximum germination (100%) was recorded in NaCl (25 Mm,) treatment and the minimum percentage of germination was observed as 84% in HgCl2 (1 mg/ml). The maximum shoot length was observed in HgCl2 (0.001 mg/ml) with average shot length of 16.50 cm and 13.92 cm of NaCl (25 mM) respectively. It was also observed that the seedlings having high RWC were more resistant against salinity stress.

Conclusions: The use of both genetic modification as well as traditional breeding approaches are to be needed so as to unravel the mechanisms to salinity tolerance and at the same time to involve in the  development of salt-tolerant cultivars that are better  to adapt  with any increase in  soil salinity constraints. 


Wheat, RWC, Metal stress, Abiotic stress, Germination

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