The "STAY-GREEN" trait and phytohormone signaling networks in plants under heat stress

Plant Cell Rep. 2017 Jul;36(7):1009-1025. doi: 10.1007/s00299-017-2119-y. Epub 2017 May 8.


The increasing demand for food and the heavy yield losses in primary crops due to global warming mean that there is an urgent need to improve food security. Therefore, understanding how plants respond to heat stress and its consequences, such as drought and increased soil salinity, has received much attention in plant science community. Plants exhibit stress tolerance, escape or avoidance via adaptation and acclimatization mechanisms. These mechanisms rely on a high degree of plasticity in their cellular metabolism, in which phytohormones play an important role. "STAY-GREEN" is a crucial trait for genetic improvement of several crops, which allows plants to keep their leaves on the active photosynthetic level under stress conditions. Understanding the physiological and molecular mechanisms concomitant with "STAY-GREEN" trait or delayed leaf senescence, as well as those regulating photosynthetic capability of plants under heat stress, with a certain focus on the hormonal pathways, may be a key to break the plateau of productivity associated with adaptation to high temperature. This review will discuss the recent findings that advance our understanding of the mechanisms controlling leaf senescence and hormone signaling cascades under heat stress.

Keywords: Abscisic acid; Cytokinins; Ethylene; Heat stress; Leaf senescence; Strigolactones.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hot Temperature*
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism*
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Plant Growth Regulators