Plant and Soil

, Volume 257, Issue 1, pp 219–226 | Cite as

Interaction of drought and high temperature on photosynthesis and grain-filling of wheat


Drought and high temperature often occur simultaneously, but their effects on crops are usually investigated individually. Our objective was to compare effects of drought, high temperature, and their interactions on photosynthesis and grain-growth of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Plants (cv. Len) were grown uniformly in well-watered soil at 25/20 ± 2 °C day/night until anthesis, when they were subjected to regimes of no drought (soil at field capacity) and drought (plant water potential of −.0 to −2.4 MPa) at 15/10, 25/20, and 35/30 °C in controlled environments until physiological maturity. Drought decreased photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, viable leaf area, shoot and grain mass, and weight and soluble sugar content of kernels but increased plant water-use efficiency. High temperature hastened the decline in photosynthesis and leaf area, decreased shoot and grain mass as well as weight and sugar content of kernels, and reduced water-use efficiency. Interactions between the two stresses were pronounced, and consequences of drought on all physiological parameters were more severe at high temperature than low temperature. The synergistic interactions indicated that productivity of wheat is reduced considerably more by the combined stresses than by either stress alone, and that much of the effect is on photosynthetic processes.

drought high temperature photosynthesis plant stress water relations wheat 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agronomy, Throckmorton Plant Sciences CenterKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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