A comprehensive understanding of the physiological responses of plants to extreme temperatures is essential for future strategies for plant improvement. Obvious advantages can result from the study of highly adapted plant species, such as the model tree Populus euphratica Olivier that naturally thrives under extreme temperatures, saline soils, and drought. The present paper addresses the issue of P. euphratica thermotolerance using a cell suspension model system. P. euphratica suspended cells were subjected to a
range of temperatures (from 5 up to 75◦C) for 20 min, and cultures were evaluated for cell viability and biomass content at speciﬁc time points. The results have shown that cell viability was only aﬀected after a temperature stress higher than 40◦C, although in these conditions it was observed that a cell growth increases after the recovery period. In contrast, a total decline in cell viability was observed in suspended cells treated at 50◦C or higher temperatures, which did not show growth recovery capacity. Therefore, the known natural tolerance of P. euphratica to thermal stress was not observable at the cellular level. The greater susceptibility to high temperatures in suspended cells as compared to ﬁeld plants suggests that high thermotolerance can only be achieved when cells are integrated into a tissue.