Thermotolerance of temperate vegetable crops grown in the tropics: Physiological and biochemical mechanisms, productivity and quality

Project Number
RI 2/15 HJ

Project Duration
April 2016 - April 2019

Status
In-Progress

Abstract
Of the various environmental stressors, temperature permeates all levels of biological functions and significantly affects the interconnected cellular stress response in plants, where elevated temperatures can induce a dramatic re-setting of physiological and molecular mechanisms in order to maintain homeostasis and survival. In face of climate change catastrophes, threatening all aspects of plant architecture and challenging development of sustainable agriculture at a time of significant growth in the global population, understanding the thermotolerance of subtropical and temperate vegetable crops grown in the tropics and cultivation of heat tolerant food crop of particular urgency. This research is two pronged: identifying the basal and acquired thermotolerance in selected vegetable crops and adopting sub-lethal heat stress regimes to boost adaptive thermotolerance in plants in horticultural applications. In this proposed project, efforts will be concentrated on the effects of heat stress on vegetative growth of temperate vegetable crops. Certain commercial cultivars, heat resistant and sensitive recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of the lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) would be examined for its mechanisms of thermal tolerance. The effects of sub-lethal exposure to thermal stress (“hardening”) on physiology, molecular basis, productivity and quality would also be addressed.

Funding Source
NIE

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