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Crop Production Under Drought and Heat Stress: Plant Responses and Management Options


Crop Production Under Drought and Heat Stress: Plant Responses and Management Options

Shah Fahad et al. Front Plant Sci.


Abiotic stresses are one of the major constraints to crop production and food security worldwide. The situation has aggravated due to the drastic and rapid changes in global climate. Heat and drought are undoubtedly the two most important stresses having huge impact on growth and productivity of the crops. It is very important to understand the physiological, biochemical, and ecological interventions related to these stresses for better management. A wide range of plant responses to these stresses could be generalized into morphological, physiological, and biochemical responses. Interestingly, this review provides a detailed account of plant responses to heat and drought stresses with special focus on highlighting the commonalities and differences. Crop growth and yields are negatively affected by sub-optimal water supply and abnormal temperatures due to physical damages, physiological disruptions, and biochemical changes. Both these stresses have multi-lateral impacts and therefore, complex in mechanistic action. A better understanding of plant responses to these stresses has pragmatic implication for remedies and management. A comprehensive account of conventional as well as modern approaches to deal with heat and drought stresses have also been presented here. A side-by-side critical discussion on salient responses and management strategies for these two important abiotic stresses provides a unique insight into the phenomena. A holistic approach taking into account the different management options to deal with heat and drought stress simultaneously could be a win-win approach in future.

Keywords: climate change; crop production; drought; heat stress; plant responses; stress management.

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