Drought

Definition

Drought is a prolonged period of water deficit. For plants, it represents a severe abiotic stress to which they have to adapt, and it can lead to considerable economical losses in worldwide crop agriculture.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Resurrection plants can survive extreme drying during periods of prolonged drought stress, maintaining a quiescent state for months to years until the return of water. Analysis of the genome and transcriptome of the resurrection plant Xerophyta viscosa links the evolution of desiccation tolerance to rewired pre-existing seed pathways.

    • Robert VanBuren
    Nature Plants 3, 17046
  • News and Views |

    The specialized photosynthesis adopted by drought-resilient crassulacean acid metabolism plants has inverted the diel stomatal opening behaviour of their ancestral C3 plants. This was achieved via large-scale reprogramming of expression of the signal transduction machinery and a coordinate shift in the cellular redox poise.

    • Alisdair R. Fernie
    Nature Plants 2, 16190
  • News and Views |

    Abscisic acid (ABA) dynamically balances plant water use and availability. It is synthesized during water deficit and quickly catabolized into breakdown products previously thought to be largely inactive. New work demonstrates that phaseic acid, a major ABA catabolite, is a weak ABA receptor agonist with its own auxiliary role in water relations.

    • Jorge Lozano-Juste
    •  & Sean R. Cutler
    Nature Plants 2, 16137
  • News and Views |

    Large trees deliver many benefits to forest ecosystems, including the provision of habitats for other species and the storage of carbon. A synthesis of tree growth and mortality data from around the globe now suggests that under drought large trees are dying in higher numbers than smaller trees.

    • Michael G. Ryan
    Nature Plants 1, 15150
  • News |

    Soil microorganisms have long been known to aid plants through nitrogen fixation and water and nutrient exchange. Now researchers are unearthing new ways in which this subterranean biome affects plant performance.

    • Karl Gruber
    Nature Plants 1, 15194