Department of Biotechnology, G.B. Pant Engineering College, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India.
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During past few decades the population explosion in the world, particularly in Asia, resulted in many problems for mankind. One of them is greater demand for food. On one side the demand for food is increasing and on the other the area under agriculture is decreasing day-by-day due to urbanization and industrialization. The production is also severely affected by the abiotic stresses experienced by a plant which include soil salinity, drought, high or low temperature and light. They disturb the cellular aqueous and ionic equilibrium. The environmental factors often play decisive role in controlling certain physiological attributes such as length of vegetative phase, onset of reproductive cycle, fl owering intensity, and timing of fruit set or of induction of whole plant senescence (Grover et al. 2001). The effect of stress depends on the intensity, duration, types of stresses as well as on the stage and genotype of the plant species, e.g., in rice, the germinating stage is considered as relatively salt tolerant compared to young seedling stage and early developmental stage (Singh et al. 2008).