High Night-time Temperatures

High-Night Temperature Stress in Rice

The predicted impacts of climate change have made tolerance to high temperatures an important target for crop breeders. However, the effects of high temperatures on plants depend on when the stress occurs. For example, a small temperature increase at night (1°C) has a significant negative impact on rice yield and quality (Peng et al 2004). Yet the molecular mechanisms causing this sensitivity to high night-time temperatures (HNT) are not well understood. Over the past 100 years, the daily minimum temperature has increased faster than the daily maximum temperature and this trend is predicted to continue (Easterling et al 2016). This observation emphasizes the importance of understanding the effects of HNT on plants to maintain productivity in the face of a changing climate.