Received December 12, 2022
Drought is a global problem, limiting crop production and quality, and it is more detrimental under climate change conditions. It decreases crop yield by affecting the key plant metabolic pathways. Drought triggers a wide variety of plant responses, ranging from cellular metabolism to changes in growth rates and crop yields. Wheat is one of the most important cereal crops and extensively cultivated in wide ranges of altitudes in Afghanistan. With an alarming population growth in the era of climatic change, there is a need for further crop improvement for sustainable production. Understanding the physiological and biochemical responses wheat to drought is essential for a holistic perception of resistance mechanisms to drought conditions. This review article has been divided into two parts, i.e., Physiological and biochemical responses of wheat to drought stress, and drought stress mitigation approaches. I+n the first part, physiological and biochemical responses of wheat to stress were discussed. Drought stress reduces relative water content of leaves, chlorophyll content, and membrane stability. It adversely affects photosynthesis by changing the inner structure of chloroplasts, mitochondria, and chlorophyll content and minerals. Drought stress induces generation of active oxygen species, and the production of antioxidant enzymes in response to water stress as an adaptive mechanism against oxidative damage. This review article elucidates the physiological and biochemical responses of wheat to drought stress conditions and provides drought mitigation options that could contribute in food security under changing climate.
Key words: wheat, drought stress, antioxidant enzymes, photosynthesis, osmolytes