Stresses (Feb 2022)

Physiological Responses to Drought, Salinity, and Heat Stress in Plants: A Review

  • Tiago Benedito dos Santos,
  • Alessandra Ferreira Ribas,
  • Silvia Graciele Hülse de Souza,
  • Ilara Gabriela Frasson Budzinski,
  • Douglas Silva Domingues

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2, no. 1
pp. 113 – 135


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On the world stage, the increase in temperatures due to global warming is already a reality that has become one of the main challenges faced by the scientific community. Since agriculture is highly dependent on climatic conditions, it may suffer a great impact in the short term if no measures are taken to adapt and mitigate the agricultural system. Plant responses to abiotic stresses have been the subject of research by numerous groups worldwide. Initially, these studies were concentrated on model plants, and, later, they expanded their studies in several economically important crops such as rice, corn, soybeans, coffee, and others. However, agronomic evaluations for the launching of cultivars and the classical genetic improvement process focus, above all, on productivity, historically leaving factors such as tolerance to abiotic stresses in the background. Considering the importance of the impact that abiotic stresses can have on agriculture in the short term, new strategies are currently being sought and adopted in breeding programs to understand the physiological, biochemical, and molecular responses to environmental disturbances in plants of agronomic interest, thus ensuring the world food security. Moreover, integration of these approaches is bringing new insights on breeding. We will discuss how water deficit, high temperatures, and salinity exert effects on plants.