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Jun 13, 2024

Increased Heat Resilience with TWA1 Plant Sensor

Physical Sciences, Energy and Environment

  • Crops with improved characteristics
  • Better heat tolerance and stay-green traits
  • Early prevention of senescence under heat stress

Your contact

Linda Keil

+49 (0) 89 5480177 – 30
Reference Number:


Rising global temperatures are increasing the frequency and intensity of heatwaves and droughts. Heat and drought cause high losses in agricultural production and a reduction in arable land. There is an urgent need to create crops that are more water-efficient and heat-tolerant. Novel genetically modified crops can offer unparalleled heat tolerance, ensuring consistent yields despite the challenges of climate change. Heat-tolerant crops have the potential to reduce yield losses due to global warming, thereby improving food security and conserving water. They are also essential to prevent growth retardation and early senescence when under heat stress. However, the sensing mechanisms that trigger basal and acquired thermotolerance in plants have only just been discovered by the inventors.


The novel technology demonstrated that TWA1 is vital for thermotolerance in Arabidopsis.TWA1's temperature response IT50 is 26°C; Arabidopsis lyrata and white mustard homologs have different IT50 values. Under heat stress, TWA1 accumulates in nuclear subdomains forming repressor complexes, thus enhancing thermotolerance and suppressing stress-induced senescence. Utilizing this thermosensor offers a tool for plants' heat adaptation responses – potentially improving crop yields in higher temperature environments.

Commercial Opportunities

- Crops with improved heat tolerance and stay-green traits

- Sensor with highest sensitivity (temperature coefficient (Q10) = 150)

- Design of temperature sensors and tools for thermogenetics

- Essential to prevent early senescence when under heat stress

Development Status

TRL Level 4: Technology validated in lab.




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