Heat Stress-Mediated Constraints in Maize (Zea mays) Production: Challenges and Solutions

Ahmed H. El-Sappah, Shabir A. Rather, Shabir Hussain Wani, Ahmed S. Elrys, Muhammad Bilal, Qiulan Huang, Zahoor Ahmad Dar, Mohamed M.A. Elashtokhy, Nourhan Soaud, Monika Koul, Reyazul Rouf Mir, Kuan Yan, Jia Li, Khaled A. El-Tarabily, Manzar Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


An increase in temperature and extreme heat stress is responsible for the global reduction in maize yield. Heat stress affects the integrity of the plasma membrane functioning of mitochondria and chloroplast, which further results in the over-accumulation of reactive oxygen species. The activation of a signal cascade subsequently induces the transcription of heat shock proteins. The denaturation and accumulation of misfolded or unfolded proteins generate cell toxicity, leading to death. Therefore, developing maize cultivars with significant heat tolerance is urgently required. Despite the explored molecular mechanism underlying heat stress response in some plant species, the precise genetic engineering of maize is required to develop high heat-tolerant varieties. Several agronomic management practices, such as soil and nutrient management, plantation rate, timing, crop rotation, and irrigation, are beneficial along with the advanced molecular strategies to counter the elevated heat stress experienced by maize. This review summarizes heat stress sensing, induction of signaling cascade, symptoms, heat stress-related genes, the molecular feature of maize response, and approaches used in developing heat-tolerant maize varieties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number879366
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPublished - Apr 29 2022


  • Zea mays
  • abiotic stress
  • gene signaling cascade
  • heat stress
  • molecular response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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