The seeds and fruits derived from the sexual reproduction of flowering plants constitute the major part of the human diet. Our capacity to generate sufficient crop yield is increasingly compromised by human population expansion, competition for land use, biodiversity loss, and global climate change. Hot days and heat waves are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity in many temperate regions in the coming decades as a consequence of global warming. Exposure to high temperature episodes often coincides with the reproductive phase of the plant life cycle. As pollen development and functioning are among the most heat-sensitive processes that impact upon plant fertility, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms and processes underlying heat-related male sterility in order to maintain food security.
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