Influence of drought and heat stress, applied independently or in combination during seed development, on qualitative and quantitative aspects of seeds of lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus) genotypes, differing in drought sensitivity
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Terminal droughts, along with high temperatures, are becoming more frequent to strongly influence the seed development in cool‐season pulses like lentil. In the present study, the lentil plants growing outdoors under natural environment were subjected to following treatments at the time of seed filling till maturity: (a) 28/23 °C day/night temperature as controls; (b) drought stressed, plants maintained at 50% field capacity, under the same growth conditions as in a; (c) heat stressed, 33/28 °C day/night temperature, under the same growth conditions as in a; and (d) drought + heat stressed, plants at 50% field capacity, 33/28 °C day/night temperature, under the same growth conditions as in (a). Both heat and drought resulted in marked reduction in the rate and duration of seed filling to decrease the final seed size; drought resulted in more damage than heat stress; combined stresses accentuated the damage to seed starch, storage proteins and their fractions, minerals, and several amino acids. Comparison of a drought‐tolerant and a drought‐sensitive genotype indicated the former type showed significantly less damage to various components of seeds, under drought as well as heat stress suggesting a cross tolerance, which was linked to its (drought tolerant) better capacity to retain more water in leaves and hence more photo‐assimilation ability, compared with drought‐sensitive genotype.