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J. Lipiec, C. Doussan, A. Nosalewicz and K. Kondracka

Abstract

Drought and heat stresses are important threat limitations to plant growth and sustainable agriculture worldwide. Our objective is to provide a review of plant responses and adaptations to drought and elevated temperature including roots, shoots, and final yield and management approaches for alleviating adverse effects of the stresses based mostly on recent literature. The sections of the paper deal with plant responses including root growth, transpiration, photosynthesis, water use efficiency, phenotypic flexibility, accumulation of compounds of low molecular mass (eg proline and gibberellins), and expression of some genes and proteins for increasing the tolerance to the abiotic stresses. Soil and crop management practices to alleviate negative effects of drought and heat stresses are also discussed. Investigations involving determination of plant assimilate partitioning, phenotypic plasticity, and identification of most stress-tolerant plant genotypes are essential for understanding the complexity of the responses and for future plant breeding. The adverse effects of drought and heat stress can be mitigated by soil management practices, crop establishment, and foliar application of growth regulators by maintaining an appropriate level of water in the leaves due to osmotic adjustment and stomatal performance.