5.1. Impacts of High-Temperature Stress and Potential Opportunities for Breeding

  1. Shyam S. Yadav PhD5,
  2. Robert J. Redden PhD6,
  3. Jerry L. Hatfield PhD7,
  4. Hermann Lotze-Campen PhD8 and
  5. Anthony E. Hall PhD9
  1. Rishi P. Singh1,
  2. P. V. Vara Prasad2,
  3. Ambrish K. Sharma3 and
  4. K. Raja Reddy4

Published Online: 18 AUG 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470960929.ch13

Crop Adaptation to Climate Change

Crop Adaptation to Climate Change

How to Cite

Singh, R. P., Prasad, P. V. V., Sharma, A. K. and Reddy, K. R. (2011) Impacts of High-Temperature Stress and Potential Opportunities for Breeding, in Crop Adaptation to Climate Change (eds S. S. Yadav, R. J. Redden, J. L. Hatfield, H. Lotze-Campen and A. E. Hall), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470960929.ch13

Editor Information

  1. 5

    Agriculture—Capacity Development, Civilian Technical Assistance Program, General Directorate of Programs, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock, Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Kabul, Afghanistan

  2. 6

    Australian Temperate Field Crops Collection, Grains Innovation Park, The Department of Primary Industries, Private Bag 260, Horsham, Victoria 3401, Australia

  3. 7

    USDA-ARS National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, 2110 University Blvd., Ames, IA 50011, United States of America

  4. 8

    Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), P.O. Box 601203, 14412 Potsdam, Germany

  5. 9

    Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0124, United States of America

Author Information

  1. 1

    Birsa Agricultural University, Directorate of Farm and Seed Production, Ranchi 834006, Jharkhand, India

  2. 2

    Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, United States of America

  3. 3

    Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Division of Plant Physiology/Genetics, New Delhi 110012, India

  4. 4

    Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State 39762, United States of America

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 AUG 2011
  2. Published Print: 23 SEP 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780813820163

Online ISBN: 9780470960929



  • high-temperature stress;
  • temperature tolerance;
  • reproductive development;
  • pollen viability;
  • cell membrane thermo-stability;
  • canopy temperature;
  • global warming;
  • elevated carbon dioxide concentration


Productivity of grain crops is highly sensitive to climate change and climate variability. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts a 3-5oC increase in global mean annual temperatures by end of this century. This temperature increase will significantly influence crop productivity. High temperature negatively affects various physiological and yield processes such as photosynthesis, chlorophyll content, pollen viability and germination, seed set, seed numbers, and seed weights, resulting in lower grain yield and poor grain quality. Therefore, development of cultivars tolerant to high temperatures is crucial. Several physiological traits may contribute to high-temperature tolerance in field crops: canopy temperature depression, increased membrane thermostability, higher photosynthetic rates, increased green leaf duration, higher reproductive fertility through pollen viability and seed set, and altered flowering time to avoid high temperatures. Breeding programs should consider such traits when selecting heat-tolerant cultivars. Progress in breeding for stress tolerance depends on an improved understanding of the physiological and biochemical mechanisms and genetic basis of stress tolerance at the whole plant, cellular, and molecular levels as well as an ability to identify genes associated with tolerance and transfer those genes into current high-yielding genotypes.