Adverse Effect of Drought on Quality of Major Cereal Crops: Implications and Their Possible Mitigation Strategies

  • Ayman EL SabaghEmail author
  • Akbar Hossain
  • Celaleddin Barutçular
  • Mohammad Sohidul Islam
  • Zahoor Ahmad
  • Allah Wasaya
  • Ram Swaroop Meena
  • Shah Fahad
  • Sytar Oksana
  • Yaser Mohamed Hafez
  • Ullah Najeeb
  • Fatih ÇIĞ
  • Ömer Konuşkan
  • Mirza Hasanuzzaman


Cereal crops are the major contributors to the global dietary intake of nutrients, and therefore, grain quality is an important trait for crop improvement. Grain quality in cereals is strongly influenced by genotype and environmental factors. Drought stress alone significantly reduces grain yield and quality of cereal crops worldwide. The present paper discusses the impact of drought on qualitative traits of cereal crops and suggests strategies to enhance grain quality. Drought significantly affects the nutritional properties and quality traits of crops by modifying morphological, physiological, and biochemical traits in plants. This understanding may help plant breeders in developing drought-tolerant varieties while maintaining the desired quality characteristics. Various management techniques have been suggested to enhance grain quality of crops under harsh environments. Among those, exogenous application of potential osmoprotectants (OSP) alone or in combination with soil organic amendments is a promising approach to alleviate drought stress and could be helpful in ameliorating the harmful effects of drought stresses on crop quality.


Drought amelioration Drought stress Oil and protein content Cereal and oilseed crops Quality 



Abscisic acid


Ash content


Ascorbic acid


Ash yield

chl a

Chlorophyll a

chl b

Chlorophyll b


Conventional irrigation


Drought stress index


Dry weight




Fresh weight


Farm yard manure




Grain weight


Grain yield






Oil yield


Phenylalanine ammonia lyase


Protein content






Relative leaf water content


Reactive oxygen species


Relative water content


Salicylic acid


Starch content




Supplemental irrigation


Superoxide dismutase


Starch yield




Test weight


Ultraviolet radiation




Conflict of Interest

Authors declared no conflict of interest.


We hereby declare that this review contains no material which has been accepted for the award of any degree or diploma in any university, and that, to the best of our knowledge and belief, the review contains no copy of any material previously published or written by another person except where due reference is made in the text.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ayman EL Sabagh
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Akbar Hossain
    • 3
  • Celaleddin Barutçular
    • 4
  • Mohammad Sohidul Islam
    • 5
  • Zahoor Ahmad
    • 6
  • Allah Wasaya
    • 7
  • Ram Swaroop Meena
    • 8
  • Shah Fahad
    • 9
  • Sytar Oksana
    • 10
  • Yaser Mohamed Hafez
    • 11
  • Ullah Najeeb
    • 12
  • Fatih ÇIĞ
    • 2
  • Ömer Konuşkan
    • 13
  • Mirza Hasanuzzaman
    • 14
  1. 1.Department of Agronomy, Faculty of AgricultureKafrelsheikh UniversityKafr El-SheikhEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Field Crops, Faculty of AgricultureSiirt UniversitySiirtTurkey
  3. 3.Department of AgronomyBangladesh Wheat and Maize Research InstituteNashipur, DinajpurBangladesh
  4. 4.Department of Field Crops, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of CukurovaAdanaTurkey
  5. 5.Department of AgronomyHajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology UniversityDinajpurBangladesh
  6. 6.Department of Life SciencesThe Islamia University of BahawalpurBahawalpurPakistan
  7. 7.College of AgricultureBahauddin Zakariya UniversityLayyahPakistan
  8. 8.Department of AgronomyInstitute of Agricultural Sciences (BHU)VaranasiIndia
  9. 9.Department of AgricultureUniversity of SwabiKhyber PakhtunkhwaPakistan
  10. 10.Department of Plant PhysiologySlovak University of Agriculture in NitraNitraSlovakia
  11. 11.EPCRS Excellence Center, Plant Pathology and Biotechnology Laboratory, Agriculture Botany Department, Faculty AgricultureKafrelsheikh UniversityKafr El-SheikhEgypt
  12. 12.Faculty of Science, Plant Breeding Institute, Sydney Institute of Agriculture, School of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  13. 13.Department of Field Crops, Faculty of AgricultureMustafa Kemal UniversityHatayTurkey
  14. 14.Department of Agronomy, Faculty of AgricultureSher-e-Bangla Agricultural UniversityDhakaBangladesh

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