Assessment of ozone toxicity among 14 Indian wheat cultivars under field conditions: growth and productivity

  • Aditya Abha Singh
  • Adeeb Fatima
  • Amit Kumar Mishra
  • Nivedita Chaudhary
  • Arideep Mukherjee
  • Madhoolika Agrawal
  • Shashi Bhushan Agrawal


Tropospheric ozone (O3) is a well-known threat to global agricultural production. Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is the second most important staple crop in India, although little is known about intra-specific variability of Indian wheat cultivars in terms of their sensitivity against O3. In this study, 14 wheat cultivars widely grown in India were exposed to 30 ppb elevated O3 above ambient level using open top chambers to evaluate their response against O3 stress. Different growth and physiological parameters, foliar injury and grain yield were evaluated to assess the sensitivity of cultivars and classified them on the basis of their cumulative stress response index (CSRI). Due to elevated O3, growth parameters, plant biomass, and photosynthetic rates were negatively affected, whereas variable reductions in yield were observed among the test cultivars. Based on CSRI values, HD 2987, DBW 50, DBW 77, and PBW 550 were classified as O3 sensitive; HD 2967, NIAW 34, HD 3059, PBW 502, HUW 213, and HUW 251 as intermediately sensitive, while HUW12, KUNDAN, HUW 55, and KHARCHIYA 65 were found to be O3-tolerant cultivars. Cultivars released after year 2000 were found to be more sensitive compared to earlier released cultivars. Path analysis approach showed that leaf area, plant biomass, stomatal conductance, net assimilation rate, and absolute growth rate were the most important variables influencing yield under O3 stress. Findings of the current study highlight the importance of assessing differential sensitivity and tolerance of wheat cultivars and response of different traits in developing resistance against elevated O3.


Ozone Sensitivity Wheat Cumulative stress response index Growth parameters Yield 



Authors are thankful to the Head of the Department of Botany and Department of Science and Technology (DST-FIST), Centre of Advanced Study (CAS), and Interdisciplinary School of Life Sciences (ISLS) for all the laboratory facilities. Science and Engineering Research Board (Department of Science and Technology), New Delhi, is greatly acknowledged for providing financial support to the work in form of major research project (SERB/PO/PS-62/2013). Authors are also grateful to an anonymous reviewer and editor for their valuable suggestions which helped in improving the quality of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aditya Abha Singh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Adeeb Fatima
    • 1
  • Amit Kumar Mishra
    • 1
    • 3
  • Nivedita Chaudhary
    • 1
    • 4
  • Arideep Mukherjee
    • 1
  • Madhoolika Agrawal
    • 1
  • Shashi Bhushan Agrawal
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Air Pollution and Global Climate Change, Department of Botany, Institute of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Plant Molecular BiologyUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia
  3. 3.Department of Life SciencesBen-Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael
  4. 4.Field Crops and Natural Resources, Institute of Plant SciencesAgricultural Research OrganizationM.P. NegevIsrael

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