Hikaru Sato, Junya Mizoi, Kazuo Shinozaki, Kazuko Yamaguchi‐Shinozaki

Complex plant responses to drought and heat stress under climate change

  • Cell Biology
  • Plant Science
  • Genetics

SUMMARYGlobal climate change is predicted to result in increased yield losses of agricultural crops caused by environmental conditions. In particular, heat and drought stress are major factors that negatively affect plant development and reproduction, and previous studies have revealed how these stresses induce plant responses at physiological and molecular levels. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of current knowledge concerning how drought, heat, and combinations of these stress conditions affect the status of plants, including crops, by affecting factors such as stomatal conductance, photosynthetic activity, cellular oxidative conditions, metabolomic profiles, and molecular signaling mechanisms. We further discuss stress‐responsive regulatory factors such as transcription factors and signaling factors, which play critical roles in adaptation to both drought and heat stress conditions and potentially function as ‘hubs’ in drought and/or heat stress responses. Additionally, we present recent findings based on forward genetic approaches that reveal natural variations in agricultural crops that play critical roles in agricultural traits under drought and/or heat conditions. Finally, we provide an overview of the application of decades of study results to actual agricultural fields as a strategy to increase drought and/or heat stress tolerance. This review summarizes our current understanding of plant responses to drought, heat, and combinations of these stress conditions.

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