Acclimative response to temperature stress in higher plants: approaches of gene engineering for temperature tolerance

Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2002;53:225-45. doi: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.53.100201.160729.


Temperature stresses experienced by plants can be classified into three types: those occurring at (a) temperatures below freezing, (b) low temperatures above freezing, and (c) high temperatures. This review outlines how biological substances that are deeply related to these stresses, such as heat-shock proteins, glycinebetaine as a compatible solute, membrane lipids, etc., and also detoxifiers of active oxygen species, contribute to temperature stress tolerance in plants. Also presented here are the uses of genetic engineering techniques to improve the adaptability of plants to temperature stress by altering the levels and composition of these substances in the living organism. Finally, the future prospects for molecular breeding are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Genetic Engineering*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species


  • Reactive Oxygen Species