Standard Article

Abiotic Stress

  1. Hans J Bohnert

Published Online: 16 APR 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020087



How to Cite

Bohnert, H. J. 2007. Abiotic Stress. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 APR 2007


Plants, being sessile organisms, are exposed to external factors that can be stressful in such a way that growth, development, and reproduction or the yield of crops become compromised. Expanding extensive physiological studies, the last decade has seen a focus on genes and biochemical pathways that determine whether plants are sensitive or tolerant to the many different stress factors: heat, cold and freezing, drought, salinity, flooding or oxidizing agents. Recently, most emphasis is being directed towards an understanding of the mechanisms through which plants recognize external conditions, and on the signailing pathways that initiate protective reactions.


  • abiotic stresses;
  • adaptation and acclimation;
  • stress defence mechanisms;
  • osmotic adjustment;
  • stress proteins