Growth and Molecular Responses of Tomato to Prolonged and Short-Term Heat Exposure

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



Tomatoes are one of the most important vegetables for human consumption. In the Mediterranean's semi-arid and arid regions, where tomatoes are grown in the field, global average surface temperatures are predicted to increase. We investigated tomato seed germination at elevated temperatures and the impact of two different heat regimes on seedlings and adult plants. Selected exposures to 37 °C and heat waves at 45 °C mirrored frequent summer conditions in areas with a continental climate. Exposure to 37 °C or 45 °C differently affected seedlings' root development. Both heat stresses inhibited primary root length, while lateral root number was significantly suppressed only after exposure to 37 °C. Heat stress treatments induced significant accumulation of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and reduced abscisic acid (ABA) levels in seedlings. As opposed to the heat wave treatment, exposure to 37 °C increased the accumulation of the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), which may have been involved in the root architecture modification of seedlings. Generally, more drastic phenotypic changes (chlorosis and wilting of leaves and bending of stems) were found in both seedlings and adult plants after the heat wave-like treatment. This was also reflected by proline, malondialdehyde and heat shock protein HSP90 accumulation. The gene expression of heat stress-related transcription factors was perturbed and DREB1 was shown to be the most consistent heat stress marker.


Original languageEnglish
Article number4456
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2023

External IDs

PubMedCentral PMC10002527
Scopus 85149821262
WOS 000947317200001
Mendeley 0a76a12e-3238-3db7-acda-9e94769f07c3


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Humans, Solanum lycopersicum, Abscisic Acid/metabolism, Heat-Shock Response, Heat-Shock Proteins/metabolism, Antioxidants/metabolism, Seedlings/metabolism, ABA, ACC, HSP90, root architecture, HSP70, heat stress induced transcription factors, IAA, DREB, NAC, HSF, Aba, Root architecture, Hsp90, Hsp70, Hsf, Acc, Iaa, Dreb, Nac, Heat stress induced transcription factors

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