Wheat is consumed as a staple food by more than 36% of world population. Wheat provides nearly 55% of the carbohydrates and 20% of the food calories consumed globally. The productivity of wheat is often adversely affected by salt stress which is associated with decreased germination percentage, reduced growth, altered reproductive behavior, altered enzymatic activity, disrupted photosynthesis, damage of ultrastructure of cellular components, hormonal imbalance, and oxidative stress. Different approaches have been adopted to improve plant performance under salt stress: introduction of genes, screening of better performing genotypes, and crop improvement through conventional breeding methods which are often not so successful and suitable due to time-consuming or reduction of plant vigor with the succession of time. Uses of exogenous phytoprotectants, seed priming, nutrient management, and application of plant hormone are convenient for improving plant performances. This chapter reviews the mechanism of damage of wheat plants under salt stress and also the recent approaches to improve growth and productivity of salt-affected wheat plants emphasizing the use of exogenous phytoprotectants from the available literature.
Part of the book: Wheat Improvement, Management and Utilization