J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2018, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (9): 757-779.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12701

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Molecular mechanisms governing plant responses to high temperatures

Bingjie Li, Kang Gao, Huimin Ren and Wenqiang Tang*   

  1. Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Hebei Collaboration Innovation Center for Cell Signaling, Hebei Key Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Life Sciences, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050024, China 

    These two authors contributed equally 

    Email: Wenqiang Tang (tangwq@mail.hebtu.edu.cn)
  • Received:2018-06-30 Accepted:2018-07-20 Online:2018-07-20 Published:2018-09-01


The increased prevalence of high temperatures (HTs) around the world is a major global concern, as they dramatically affect agronomic productivity. Upon HT exposure, plants sense the temperature change and initiate cellular and metabolic responses that enable them to adapt to their new environmental conditions. Decoding the mechanisms by which plants cope with HT will facilitate the development of molecular markers to enable the production of plants with improved thermotolerance. In recent decades, genetic, physiological, molecular, and biochemical studies have revealed a number of vital cellular components and processes involved in thermoresponsive growth and the acquisition of thermotolerance in plants. This review summarizes the major mechanisms involved in plant HT responses, with a special focus on recent discoveries related to plant thermosensing, heat stress signaling, and HT-regulated gene expression networks that promote plant adaptation to elevated environmental temperatures.

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