Chapter 1

Abiotic Stress in Plants: An Overview

Sharad Thakur, Ravinder Singh, Jaskaran Kaur, Manik Sharma, Kritika Pandit, Satwinderjeet Kaur and Sandeep Kaur*

Abstract

Environmental stress is one of the major limiting factors for agricultural productivity worldwide. Plants are closely associated with the environment where they grow and adapt to the varying conditions brought about by the huge number of environmental factors resulting in abiotic stress. Abiotic factors or stressors include high or low temperature, drought, flooding, salinity, mineral nutrient deficiency, radiation, gaseous pollutants, and heavy metals. High salinity, drought, cold, and heat are the major factors influencing crop productivity and yield. The negative impact of various abiotic stress factors is the alteration in the plant metabolism, growth, and development and, in severe cases, plant death. Abiotic stress has been becoming a specific concern in agriculture leading to unbearable economic loss to the breeders. Thus, understanding these stresses will help in achieving the long-term goal of crop improvement, therefore, minimizing the loss in crop yield to cope with increasing food requirements. With this chapter, an attempt has been made to present an overview of various environmental factors that are hostile to plant growth and development, thereby leading to great loss in crop yield.

Total Pages: 1-19 (19)

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