We investigated the potential of salicylic acid (sa) in alleviating the adverse effects of heat stress on photosynthesis in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cv Wh 711. activity of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (Rubisco), photosynthetic-nitrogen use efficiency (NUe), and net photosynthesis decreased in plants subjected to heat stress (40 °c for 6 h), but proline metabolism increased. sa treatment (0.5 mM) alleviated heat stress by increasing proline production through the increase in γ-glutamyl kinase (GK) and decrease in proline oxidase (PROX) activity, resulting in promotion of osmotic potential and water potential necessary for maintaining photosynthetic activity. Together with this, sa treatment restricted the ethylene formation in heat-stressed plants to optimal range by inhibiting activity of 1-aminocyclopropane carboxylic acid (acc) synthase (acs). This resulted in improved proline metabolism, N assimilation and photosynthesis. The results suggest that sa interacts with proline metabolism and ethylene formation to alleviate the adverse effects of heat stress on photosynthesis in wheat.