Rising daily temperatures and water shortage are two of the major concerns in agriculture. In this work, we analysed the tolerance traits in a tomato line carrying a small region of the Solanum pennellii wild genome (IL12-4-SL) when grown under prolonged conditions of single and combined high temperature and water stress. When exposed to stress, IL12-4-SL showed higher heat tolerance than the cultivated line M82 at morphological, physiological, and biochemical levels. Moreover, under stress IL12-4-SL produced more flowers than M82, also characterized by higher pollen viability. In both lines, water stress negatively affected photosynthesis more than heat alone, whereas the combined stress did not further exacerbate the negative impacts of drought on this trait. Despite an observed decrease in carbon fixation, the quantum yield of PSII linear electron transport in IL12-4-SL was not affected by stress, thereby indicating that photochemical processes other than CO2 fixation acted to maintain the electron chain in oxidized state and prevent photodamage. The ability of IL12-4-SL to tolerate abiotic stress was also related to the intrinsic ability of this line to accumulate ascorbic acid. The data collected in this study clearly indicate improved tolerance to single and combined abiotic stress for IL12-4-SL, making this line a promising one for cultivation in a climate scenario characterized by frequent and long-lasting heatwaves and low rainfall.

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