IMR Press / FBL / Volume 26 / Issue 10 / DOI: 10.52586/4998
Open Access Review
Approaches for the amelioration of adverse effects of drought stress on crop plants
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1 Metagenomics and Secretomics Research Laboratory, Department of Botany, Dr. Harisingh Gour University (A Central University), 470003 Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Mycorrhizal Research Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Rhodes University, 6140 Grahamstown (Makhanda), South Africa
3 Department of Zoology, Dr. Harisingh Gour University (A Central University), 470003 Sagar, Madhya Pradesh, India
4 Centre for Rural Development and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, 110016 Hauz Khas, New Delhi, India
5 Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, 560064 Bangalore, Karnataka, India
6 Department of Botany, Mohanlal Sukhadia University, 313001 Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
7 Microbiology and Genetics Department/CIALE, University of Salamanca, 37007 Salamanca, Spain
*Correspondence: (Ashwani Kumar); (Joanna Felicity Dames)
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2021, 26(10), 928–947;
Submitted: 24 July 2021 | Revised: 3 September 2021 | Accepted: 14 September 2021 | Published: 30 October 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by BRI.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

Climate change, water scarcity, population growth, and food shortage are some of the threatening challenges being faced in today’s world. Among different types of stresses, drought stress presents a persistent challenge for global food production, however, its harshness and intensity are supposed to expand in the imminent future. The most striking effects of drought stress on plants are stunted growth, severe damage to photosynthetic apparatus, reduction in photosynthesis, reduction in seed germination, and nutrient uptake. To deal with the destructive effect of drought stress on plants, it is necessary to consider its effects, mechanisms of action, the agronomic and genetic basis for sustainable management. Therefore, there is an urgent need for sustainable solutions to cope up with the negative impact of drought stress. This review focuses on the detrimental effects of drought stress on plants’ morphological, physiological, and biochemical characteristics and recommends suitable drought management techniques to reduce the severity of drought stress. We summarize the effect of drought stress on physiological and biochemical parameters (such as germination, photosynthesis, biomass, water status, and nutrient uptake) and yield. Overall, in this article, we have reviewed the role of different phytohormones, osmolytes, exogenous compounds, proteins, plant growth-promoting microbes (PGPM), omics approaches, and genome editing technologies like clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR-Cas9) in alleviating drought effects in plants. We also proposed that developing drought-tolerant plant varieties requires the combined use of biotechnological and agronomic approaches and cutting-edge genome editing (GE) tools.

Abiotic stress
Plant growth-promoting microbes
Fig. 1.
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