Exogenous Melatonin Alleviates Oxidative Damages and Protects Photosystem II in Maize Seedlings Under Drought Stress.
ABSTRACT: The protective role of melatonin in plants against various abiotic stresses have been widely demonstrated, but poorly explored in organ-specific responses and the transmission of melatonin signals across organs. In this study, the effects of melatonin with the root-irrigation method and the leaf-spraying method on the antioxidant system and photosynthetic machinery in maize seedlings under drought stress were investigated. The results showed that drought stress led to the rise in reactive oxygen species (ROS), severe cell death, and degradation of D1 protein, which were mitigated by the melatonin application. The application of melatonin improved the photosynthetic activities and alleviated the oxidative damages of maize seedlings under the drought stress. Compared with the leaf-spraying method, the root-irrigation method was more effective on enhancing drought tolerance. Moreover, maize seedlings made organ-specific physiological responses to the drought stress, and the physiological effects of melatonin varied with the dosage, application methods and plant organs. The signals of exogenous melatonin received by roots could affect the stress responses of leaves, and the melatonin signals perceived by leaves also led to changes in physiological metabolisms in roots under the stress. Consequently, the whole seedlings coordinated the different parts and made a systemic acclimation against the drought stress. Melatonin as a protective agent against abiotic stresses has a potential application prospect in the agricultural industry.
Project description:Understanding the relationship between exogenous melatonin and water deficit stress is crucial for achieving high yields and alleviating the effects of water deficit stress on soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merrill) plants in agriculture. This study investigated the effects of exogenous melatonin on soybean photosynthetic capacity under water deficit stress induced by polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000. We conducted a potting experiment in 2018 using the soybean (Glycine max L. Merrill) cultivar Suinong 26. We identified the impacts of a concentration of PEG 6000 simulating drought (15%, w/v) and an appropriate melatonin concentration (100 ?mol/L) on the growth of soybean seedlings and flowering stages in a preliminary test. We applied exogenous melatonin by foliar spraying and root application to determine the effects on leaf photosynthesis during water deficit stress. Our results indicated that 15% PEG 6000 had an obvious inhibitory effect on the growth of soybean seedlings and flowering stages, causing oxidative stress and damage due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) (H2O2 and O2·-) accumulation and potentially reducing air exchange parameters and photosystem II (PSII) efficiency. The application of exogenous melatonin significantly relieved the inhibitory effects of PEG 6000 stress on seedlings and flowering growth, and gas exchange parameters, potentially improved PSII efficiency, improved the leaf area index (LAI) and the accumulation of dry matter, slowed down oxidative stress and damage to leaves by increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes (SOD, POD, and CAT), reduced the content of malondialdehyde (MDA), and ultimately improved soybean yield. Overall, the results of this study demonstrated that application of exogenous melatonin at the seedlings and flowering stages of soybean is effective in alleviating plant damage caused by water deficit stress and improving the drought resistance of soybean plants. In addition, the results showed that application of exogenous melatonin by root is superior to foliar spraying.
Project description:Melatonin is an important biologically active hormone that plays a vital role in plant growth and development. In particular, it has been investigated for its roles in abiotic stress management. The current experiment was carried out to investigate the protective role of melatonin in photosynthetic traits and the antioxidant defense system of maize seedling under drought stress. Maize seedlings were subjected to drought stress (40-45% FC) after two weeks of seedling emergence, followed by a foliar spray (0, 25, 50, 75 and 100 µM) and soil drench of melatonin (0, 25, 50, 75 and 100 µM). Our results indicated that drought stress negatively affected maize seedling and decreased plant growth and development, biomass accumulation, reduced chlorophyll, and carotenoid content, and significantly declined photosynthetic rate and stomatal conductance. On the other hand, reactive oxygen species, soluble protein, and proline content increased under drought stress. However, the application of exogenous melatonin reduced the reactive oxygen species burst and enhanced the photosynthetic activity by protecting from damages through activation of various antioxidant enzymes under drought stress. Foliar application of 100 µM and soil drench of 50 µM melatonin was the most effective treatment concentrations under drought stress. Our current findings hereby confirmed the mitigating potential of melatonin application for drought stress by maintaining plant growth, improving the photosynthetic characteristics and activities of antioxidants enzymes.
Project description:Maize (Zea mays L.) is an important component of global food security but its production is threatened by abiotic stresses in climate change scenarios, especially drought stress. Many multinational companies have introduced maize hybrids worldwide which have variable performance under diverse environmental conditions. The maize production is likely to be affected by a future water crisis. Potassium (K) is a well-known macronutrient which improves the performance of cereals under abiotic stresses. In this field experiment, we assessed the influence of soil applied K on the productivity of diverse maize hybrids grown under well-watered and drought stress conditions. The study consisted of three K levels viz., control (no KCl), KCl at 50 kg ha-1, and KCI at 75 kg ha-1 factorally combined with two irrigation levels (i.e., normal recommended irrigation, well-watered condition, and half of the recommended irrigation, drought stress condition) and eight maize hybrids. Irrigation was kept in main plots, potassium in subplot, and maize hybrids in sub-subplots. The results revealed that performance of the maize hybrids was significantly influenced by all three factors, and the interaction of irrigation with potassium and irrigation with hybrids was significant; results being non-significant for all other interactions. Potassium application improved yield traits and water productivity under both normal and water stress conditions but effect was more prominent under water stress conditions than normal conditions. Potassium application also alleviated drought susceptibility of all maize hybrids. In all cases, the performance of maize hybrids was maximum under potassium application at 75 kg ha-1.
Project description:The applications of ZnO nanoparticles in agriculture have largely contributed to crop growth regulation, quality enhancement, and induction of stress tolerance, while the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Herein, the involvement of melatonin synthesis and metabolism in the process of nano-ZnO induced drought tolerance was investigated in maize. Drought stress resulted in the changes of subcellular ultrastructure, the accumulation of malondialdehyde and osmolytes in leaf. The nano-ZnO (100 mg L-1) application promoted the melatonin synthesis and activated the antioxidant enzyme system, which alleviated drought-induced damage to mitochondria and chloroplast. These changes were associated with upregulation of the relative transcript abundance of Fe/Mn SOD, Cu/Zn SOD, APX, CAT, TDC, SNAT, COMT, and ASMT induced by nano-ZnO application. It was suggested that modifications in endogenous melatonin synthesis were involved in the nano-ZnO induced drought tolerance in maize.
Project description:Maize (Zea mays L.), an important agricultural crop, suffers from drought stress frequently during its growth period, thus leading to a decline in yield. 2-(3,4-Dichlorophenoxy) triethylamine (DCPTA) regulates many aspects of plant development; however, its effects on crop stress tolerance are poorly understood. We pre-treated maize seedlings by adding DCPTA to a hydroponic solution and then subjected the seedlings to a drought condition [15% polyethylene glycol (PEG)-6000 treatment]. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and glutathione reductase (GR) were enhanced under drought stress and further enhanced by the DCPTA application. The activities of monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) and catalase (CAT) declined continuously under drought stress; however, the activities partially recovered with DCPTA application. Up-regulation of the activities and transcript levels of APX, GR, MDHAR and DHAR in the DCPTA treatments contributed to the increases in ascorbate (AsA) and glutathione (GSH) levels and inhibited the increased generation rate of superoxide anion radicals (O2·-), the contents of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and malondialdehyde (MDA), and the electrolyte leakage (EL) induced by drought. These results suggest that the enhanced antioxidant capacity induced by DCPTA application may represent an efficient mechanism for increasing the drought stress tolerance of maize seedlings.
Project description:Drought stress, especially during the seedling stage, seriously limits the growth of maize and reduces production in the northeast of China. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of drought response in maize seedlings, proteome changes were analyzed. Using an isotopic tagging relative quantitation (iTRAQ) based method, a total of 207 differentially accumulated protein species (DAPS) were identified under drought stress in maize seedlings. The DAPS were classified into ten essential groups and analyzed thoroughly, which involved in signaling, osmotic regulation, protein synthesis and turnover, reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging, membrane trafficking, transcription related, cell structure and cell cycle, fatty acid metabolism, carbohydrate and energy metabolism, as well as photosynthesis and photorespiration. The enhancements of ROS scavenging, osmotic regulation, protein turnover, membrane trafficking, and photosynthesis may play important roles in improving drought tolerance of maize seedlings. Besides, the inhibitions of some protein synthesis and slowdown of cell division could reduce the growth rate and avoid excessive water loss, which is possible to be the main reasons for enhancing drought avoidance of maize seedlings. The incongruence between protein and transcript levels was expectedly observed in the process of confirming iTRAQ data by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis, which further indicated that the multiplex post-transcriptional regulation and post-translational modification occurred in drought-stressed maize seedlings. Finally, a hypothetical strategy was proposed that maize seedlings coped with drought stress by improving drought tolerance (via. promoting osmotic adjustment and antioxidant capacity) and enhancing drought avoidance (via. reducing water loss). Our study provides valuable insight to mechanisms underlying drought response in maize seedlings.
Project description:Waterlogging, one of the notorious abiotic stressors, retards the growth of apple plants and reduces their production. Thus, it is an urgent agenda for scientists to identify the suitable remedies for this problem. In the current study, we found that melatonin significantly improved the tolerance of apple seedlings against waterlogging stress. This was indicated by the reduced chlorosis and wilting of the seedlings after melatonin applications either by leaf spray or root irrigation. The mechanisms involve in that melatonin functions to maintain aerobic respiration, preserves photosynthesis and reduces oxidative damage of the plants which are under waterlogging stress. Melatonin application also enhances the gene expression of its synthetic enzymes (MbT5H1, MbAANAT3, MbASMT9) and increases melatonin production. This is the first report of a positive feedback that exogenous melatonin application promotes the melatonin synthesis in plants. A post-transcriptional regulation apparently participated in this regulation. When exogenous melatonin meets the requirement of the plants it is found that the protein synthesis of MbASMT9 was suppressed. Taken together, the results showed that melatonin was an effective molecule to protect plant, particularly apple plant, against waterlogging stress.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Water deficiency is likely to become more frequent and intense as a result of global climate change, which may severely impact agricultural production in the world. The positive effects of melatonin (MEL) on alleviation drought or osmotic stress-induced water deficiency in plants has been well reported. However, the underlying mechanism of MEL on the detailed process of plant water uptake and transport under water deficiency condition remains largely unknown. RESULTS:Application of 1??M MEL led to enhanced tolerance to water deficiency stress in maize seedlings, as evidenced by maintaining the higher photosynthetic parameters, leaf water status and plant transpiration rate. The relatively higher whole-plant hydraulic conductance (Kplant) and root hydraulic conductance (Lpr) in MEL-treated seedlings suggest that exogenous MEL alleviated water deficiency stress by promoting root water absorption. HgCl2 (aquaporin inhibitor) treatment inhibit the transpiration rate in MEL-treated plants greater than those of MEL-untreated; after recovery by dithiothreitol (DTT, anti-inhibitor), the transpiration rate in MEL-treated plants increased much higher than those of untreated plants. Moreover, under water deficiency, the transcription level of aquaporin genes was up-regulated by MEL application, and the H2O2 was less accumulated in MEL-treated root. CONCLUSIONS:Exogenous MEL promoted aquaporin activity, which contributed to the maintaining of Lpr and Kplant under short-term water deficiency. The increased water uptake and transport lead to improved water status and thus increased tolerance to PEG-induced short-term water deficiency in maize seedlings.
Project description:Drought tolerance is governed by constitutive and acquired traits. Combining them has relevance for sustaining crop productivity under drought. Mild levels of stress induce specific mechanisms that protect metabolism when stress becomes severe. Here, we report a comparative assessment of "acquired drought tolerance (ADT)" traits in two rice cultivars, IR64 (drought susceptible) and Apo (tolerant), and a drought-tolerant wheat cultivar, Weebill. Young seedlings were exposed to progressive concentrations of methyl viologen (MV), a stress inducer, before transferring to a severe concentration. "Induced" seedlings showed higher tolerance and recovery growth than seedlings exposed directly to severe stress. A novel phenomic platform with an automated irrigation system was used for precisely imposing soil moisture stress to capture ADT traits during the vegetative stage. Gradual progression of drought was achieved through a software-controlled automated irrigation facility. This facility allowed the maintenance of the same level of soil moisture irrespective of differences in transpiration, and hence, this platform provided the most appropriate method to assess ADT traits. Total biomass decreased more in IR64 than in Apo. The wheat cultivar showed lower levels of damage and higher recovery growth even compared to Apo. Expression of ROS-scavenging enzymes and drought-responsive genes was significantly higher in Apo than in IR64, but differences were only marginal between Apo and Weebill. The wheat cultivar showed significantly higher stomatal conductance, carbon gain, and biomass than the rice cultivars, under drought. These differences in ADT traits between cultivars as well as between species can be utilised for improving drought tolerance in crop plants.
Project description:Since melatonin was identified in plants decades ago, much attention has been devoted to discovering its role in plant science. There is still a great deal to learn about the functional importance of melatonin, as well as its functional mode. In this paper, we examine the role of melatonin treatment in the response of <i>Malus hupehensis</i> Rehd. to alkaline conditions. Stressed seedlings showed chlorosis and suppressed growth. However, this phenotype was ameliorated when 5 µM melatonin was added to the irrigation solution. This supplementation was also associated with a reduction in cell membrane damage and maintenance of a normal root system architecture. Fewer reactive oxygen species (ROS) were accumulated due to the enhanced scavenging activity of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, and catalase. In addition, alkaline-stressed seedlings that received the melatonin supplement accumulated more polyamines compared with untreated seedlings. Transcript levels of six genes involved in polyamine synthesis, including <i>SAMDC1</i>, -<i>3</i>, and -<i>4</i>, and <i>SPDS1</i>, -<i>3</i>, and -<i>5</i>, -<i>6</i>, were upregulated in response to melatonin application. All of these results demonstrate that melatonin has a positive function in plant tolerance to alkaline stress because it regulates enzyme activity and the biosynthesis of polyamines.