Wheat Responses and Tolerance to Terminal Heat Stress: A Review

  • Davinder Sharma
  • Rajender Singh
  • Ratan Tiwari
  • Rakesh Kumar
  • Vijay Kumar Gupta


Supraoptimal temperatures and unpredictable fluctuations in global climate adversely affect plant growth and development resulting in a severe threat to wheat production. Although all the growth stages of wheat are sensitive to supraoptimal temperatures, the reproductive phase is the most sensitive one as it affects both grain setting and grain filling (GF). High temperature can alter biochemical, physiological, and morpho-anatomical behavior in wheat, which in turn affects its growth and development causing a reduction in pollen viability, duration of GF, and starch synthesis in the endosperm. At flowering, temperature above optimum results in seed sterility, while post-anthesis heat stress (HS) causes a reduction in starch biosynthesis and alters its composition. Wheat crop has evolved appropriate mechanisms such as escape, avoidance, and/or stay green to cope with HS. In addition, plants hasten the production of HS-related proteins such as heat shock proteins (HSPs) as their defense approach. An overview of wheat responses and tolerance to HS at biochemical, physiological, and morpho-anatomical behavior may help in formulating appropriate breeding strategies for wheat crop improvement.


Heat stress Heat shock proteins Starch composition Quantitative trait loci Wheat 



Glucose-1-phosphate adenylyltransferase


Canopy temperature


Electrical conductivity


Granule-bound starch synthase


Grain filling


Grain filling duration


Grain number


Grain weight


Grain yield


High molecular weight


Heat stress


Heat shock factor


Heat shock protein


Low molecular weight


Productive tillers


Quantitative trait loci


Reactive oxygen species


Relative water content


Starch branching enzyme


Starch synthase


Soluble starch synthase


Thousand grain weight


Terminal heat stress


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davinder Sharma
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rajender Singh
    • 1
  • Ratan Tiwari
    • 1
  • Rakesh Kumar
    • 1
  • Vijay Kumar Gupta
    • 2
  1. 1.ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat & Barley ResearchKarnalIndia
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryKurukshetra UniversityKurukshetraIndia

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