Heat tolerance in plants: An overview

Heat stress due to increased temperature is an agricultural problem in many areas in the world

A WAHID

2007

Scholarcy highlights

  • Heat stress due to increased temperature is an agricultural problem in many areas in the world
  • In order to cope with heat stress, plants implement various mechanisms, including maintenance of membrane stability, scavenging of reactive oxygen species, production of antioxidants, accumulation and adjustment of compatible solutes, induction of mitogen-activated protein kinase and calcium-dependent protein kinase cascades, and, most importantly, chaperone signaling and transcriptional activation
  • In addition to genetic approaches, crop heat tolerance can be enhanced by preconditioning of plants under different environmental stresses or exogenous application of osmoprotectants such as glycinebetaine and proline
  • Acquiring thermotolerance is an active process by which considerable amounts of plant resources are diverted to structural and functional maintenance to escape damages caused by heat stress
  • Biochemical and molecular aspects of thermotolerance in plants are relatively well understood, further studies focused on phenotypic flexibility and assimilate partitioning under heat stress and factors modulating crop heat tolerance are imperative
  • Such studies combined with genetic approaches to identify and map genes conferring thermotolerance will facilitate marker-assisted breeding for heat tolerance and pave the way for cloning and characterization of underlying genetic factors which could be useful for engineering plants with improved heat tolerance

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