Environmental Stimuli: A Major Challenge during Grain Filling in Cereals

Zhenning Teng, Yinke Chen, Shuan Meng, Meijuan Duan, Jianhua Zhang*, Nenghui Ye*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Light, temperature, water, and fertilizer are arguably the most important environmental factors regulating crop growth and productivity. Environmental stimuli, including low light, extreme temperatures, and water stresses caused by climate change, affect crop growth and production and pose a growing threat to sustainable agriculture. Furthermore, soil salinity is another major environmental constraint affecting crop growth and threatening global food security. The grain filling stage is the final stage of growth and is also the most important stage in cereals, directly determining the grain weight and final yield. However, the grain filling process is extremely vulnerable to different environmental stimuli, especially for inferior spikelets. Given the importance of grain filling in cereals and the deterioration of environmental problems, understanding environmental stimuli and their effects on grain filling constitutes a major focus of crop research. In recent years, significant advances made in this field have led to a good description of the intricate mechanisms by which different environmental stimuli regulate grain filling, as well as approaches to adapt cereals to changing climate conditions and to give them better grain filling. In this review, the current environmental stimuli, their dose-response effect on grain filling, and the physiological and molecular mechanisms involved are discussed. Furthermore, what we can do to help cereal crops adapt to environmental stimuli is elaborated. Overall, we call for future research to delve deeper into the gene function-related research and the commercialization of gene-edited crops. Meanwhile, smart agriculture is the development trend of the future agriculture under environmental stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2255
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • cereal crops
  • fertilizer
  • grain filling
  • light
  • saline–alkali stress
  • temperature
  • water


Dive into the research topics of 'Environmental Stimuli: A Major Challenge during Grain Filling in Cereals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this