Title: The alleviating effect of elevated CO2 on heat stress susceptibility of two wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars Session: Plant response and adaptation to abiotic stress Sindhuja Shanmugam1, Katrine Heinsvig Kjaer2*, Carl-Otto Ottosen2, Eva Rosenqvist3, Dew Kumari Sharma3 and Bernd Wollenweber4 1Department of Bioenergy, Tamilnadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India. 2Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Kirstinebjergvej 10, 5792 Årslev, Denmark 3Institute of Agricultural Sciences and Ecology, University of Copenhagen, Hojbakkegaard Allé 9, 2630 Taastrup, Denmark 4Institute for Agroecology, Aarhus University, Forsøgsvej 1, 4200 Slagelse, Denmark *Presenting author This study analysed the alleviating effect of elevated CO2 on stress-induced decreases in photosynthesis and changes in carbohydrate metabolism in two wheat cultivars (Triticum aestivum L.) of different origin. The plants were grown in ambient (400 µl l-1) and elevated (800 µl l-1) CO2 with a day/night temperature of 15/10°С. At the growth stages of tillering, booting and anthesis, the plants were subjected to heat stress of 40°С for three continuous days. Photosynthetic parameters, maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem II (PSII) photochemistry (Fv/Fm) and contents of pigments and carbohydrates in leaves were analysed before and during the stress treatments as well as after one day of recovery. Heat stress reduced PN and Fv/Fm in both wheat cultivars, but plants grown in elevated CO2 maintained higher PN and Fv/Fm in comparison to plants grown in ambient CO2. Heat stress reduced leaf chlorophyll contents and increased leaf sucrose contents in both cultivars grown at ambient and elevated CO2. The content of hexoses in the leaves increased mainly in the tolerant cultivar in response to the combination of elevated CO2 and heat stress. The results show that heat stress tolerance in wheat is related to cultivar origin, the phenological stage of the plants and can be alleviated by elevated CO2. This confirms the complex interrelation between environmental factors and genotypic traits that influence crop performance under various climatic stresses.