Melatonin-Induced Water Stress Tolerance in Plants: Recent Advances.
ABSTRACT: Water stress (drought and waterlogging) is severe abiotic stress to plant growth and development. Melatonin, a bioactive plant hormone, has been widely tested in drought situations in diverse plant species, while few studies on the role of melatonin in waterlogging stress conditions have been published. In the current review, we analyze the biostimulatory functions of melatonin on plants under both drought and waterlogging stresses. Melatonin controls the levels of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and positively changes the molecular defense to improve plant tolerance against water stress. Moreover, the crosstalk of melatonin and other phytohormones is a key element of plant survival under drought stress, while this relationship needs further investigation under waterlogging stress. In this review, we draw the complete story of water stress on both sides-drought and waterlogging-through discussing the previous critical studies under both conditions. Moreover, we suggest several research directions, especially for waterlogging, which remains a big and vague piece of the melatonin and water stress puzzle.
Project description:Melatonin (MT), polyamines (PAs), and ethylene have been suggested to play key roles in plant growth and development in response to environmental abiotic stresses. However, the effect of melatonin on polyamine and ethylene metabolism under waterlogging stress has rarely been elucidated. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of melatonin pretreatment on waterlogging stress in alfalfa. The experiment was arranged into four treatment groups control with water pretreatment (CK-MT), control with melatonin pretreatment (CK+MT), waterlogging pretreated with water (WL-MT) and waterlogging pretreated with melatonin (WL+MT), with three replications. Six-week-old alfalfa seedlings were pretreated with 100 ?M melatonin and exposed to waterlogging stress for 10 days. Plant growth rate, different physiological characteristics, and gene expression level were measured. Results showed that waterlogging induced melatonin accumulation, and melatonin pretreatment increased endogenous MT levels for the control and water-logged plants. Waterlogging stress caused a significant reduction in plant growth, chlorophyll content, photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm) and net photosynthetic rate (Pn), while also causing increased leaf electrolyte leakage (EL) and malondialdehyde (MDA) content. Pretreatment with melatonin alleviated the waterlogging-induced damage and reduction in plant growth, chlorophyll content, Fv/Fm and Pn. Waterlogging stress significantly increased leaf polyamines (Put, Spd, Spm) and ethylene levels, and the increased PAs and ethylene levels are coupled with higher metabolic enzymes and gene expressions. While pretreatment with melatonin further increased Put, Spd and Spm levels, it also decreased ethylene levels under waterlogging, and those increased PAs levels or decreased ethylene levels are regulated by the metabolic enzymes and gene expressions. The results in this study provide more comprehensive insight into the physiological and molecular mechanisms of melatonin-improved waterlogging tolerance in alfalfa. Furthermore, they suggested that melatonin improved waterlogging tolerance in alfalfa at least partially by reprogramming ethylene and PA biosynthesis, attributable to the increased PAs and decreased ethylene levels, which leads to more enhanced membrane stability and photosynthesis as well as less leaf senescence caused by ethylene.
Project description:The occurrence of water stress during wheat growth is more frequent due to climate change. Three experiments (cyclic drought, cyclic waterlogging, and cyclic drought plus waterlogging) were conducted to investigate the effects of mild and severe cyclic/single water stress at elongation and heading stages on winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yield. The effect of either mild drought at elongation or mild waterlogging at heading on wheat yield was not significant; however, significance did occur under other single water stresses. As the stress becomes more severe, the yield loss significantly increases. Extreme drought/waterlogging treatment at elongation caused a greater yield penalty than stress at heading stage. Except the combination of mild drought and mild waterlogging treatment, cyclic water stress significantly decreased wheat yields. The decrease in wheat yield under cyclic severe drought and waterlogging was significantly higher than any other treatment, with percentage decreases of 71.52 and 73.51%, respectively. In general, a yield reduction from mild cyclic water stress did not indicate more severe damage than single treatments; in contrast, grain yield suffered more when water stress occurred again after severe drought and waterlogging. Drought during elongation significantly decreased kernel number, whereas drought at heading/waterlogging during elongation and heading decreased the spike weight, which might be the main reason for the yield penalty. Furthermore, water stress caused variation in the decrease of total biomass and/or harvest index. The present study indicates comprehensive understanding of the types, degree, and stages of water stress are essential for assessing the impact of multiple water stresses on wheat yield.
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:The atmospheric CO2 concentration (a[CO2]) is increasing at an unprecedented pace. Exogenous melatonin plays positive roles in the response of plants to abiotic stresses, including drought and cold. The effect of elevated CO2 concentration (e[CO2]) accompanied by exogenous melatonin on plants under drought and cold stresses remains unknown. Here, tomato plants were grown under a[CO2] and e[CO2], with half of the plants pre-treated with melatonin. The plants were subsequently treated with drought stress followed by cold stress. The results showed that a decreased net photosynthetic rate (PN) was aggravated by a prolonged water deficit. The PN was partially restored after recovery from drought but stayed low under a successive cold stress. Starch content was downregulated by drought but upregulated by cold. The e[CO2] enhanced PN of the plants under non-stressed conditions, and moderate drought and recovery but not severe drought. Stomatal conductance (gs) and the transpiration rate (E) was less inhibited by drought under e[CO2] than under a[CO2]. Tomato grown under e[CO2] had better leaf cooling than under a[CO2] when subjected to drought. Moreover, melatonin enhanced PN during recovery from drought and cold stress, and enhanced biomass accumulation in tomato under e[CO2]. The chlorophyll a content in plants treated with melatonin was higher than in non-treated plants under e[CO2] during cold stress. Our findings will improve the knowledge on plant responses to abiotic stresses in a future [CO2]-rich environment accompanied by exogenous melatonin.
Project description:Aims:According to traditional ecophysiological theories stress tolerance of plants is predominately determined by universal physiochemical constraints. Plant acclimation to environmental stress therefore compromises plant performance under a different stress, hindering successful toleration of several abiotic stress factors simultaneously. Yet, recent studies have shown that these trade-offs are less exclusive than postulated so far, leaving more wiggle room for gaining polytolerance through adaptations We tested whether the polytolerance to shade and drought depends on cold and waterlogging tolerances - hypothesizing that polytolerance patterns in different species groups (angiosperms vs. gymnosperms; deciduous vs. evergreen; species originating from North America, Europe and East Asia) depend on the length of the vegetation period and species's dormancy through limiting the duration of favourable growing season. Location:Northern hemisphere. Methods:Our study analyzed four main abiotic stress factors - shade, drought, cold and waterlogging stress - for 806 Northern hemisphere woody species using cross-calibrated tolerance rankings. The importance of trade-offs among species ecological potentials was evaluated using the species-specific estimates of polytolerance to chosen factors. Results:We found that both cold and waterlogging tolerance are negatively related to species' capabilities of simultaneously tolerating low light and water conditions. While this pattern was different in angiosperms and gymnosperms, species region of origin and leaf type had no effect on this relationship. Main conclusions:Our results demonstrate that adaptation to different abiotic stress factors in woody plants is highly complex. Vegetation period length and dormancy are the key factors explaining why woody plants are less capable of tolerating both shade and drought in habitats where vegetation period is relatively short and water table high. While dormancy enables angiosperms to more successfully face additional stress factors besides shade and drought, gymnosperms have lower polytolerance, but are better tolerators of shade and drought when other environmental factors are favorable.
Project description:The role of melatonin treatments on improving plant tolerance against drought stress is clear, while its special role and influences are poorly investigated. Thus, the effect of external treatment with different concentrations (2.5, 5.0 and 7.5 mM) of melatonin on two varieties of flax plant (Letwania-9 and Sakha-2) growth, some biochemical aspects and yield under normal [100% water irrigation requirements (WIR)] and drought stress conditions (75% and 50% WIR) in sandy soil were investigated in this study. Drought stress decreased significantly different growth parameters, photosynthetic pigments, yield and yield components of the two studied flax varieties. While, it increased significantly phenolic contents, total soluble sugars (TSS), proline and free amino acids as well as some antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase). Meanwhile, external treatment of melatonin (2.5, 5.0 and 7.5 mM) increased significantly different growth and yield parameters as well as the studied biochemical and physiological aspects under 100% WIR. Also, melatonin treatment could alleviate the adverse effects of drought stress and increased significantly growth parameters, yield and quality of the two varieties of flax plant via improving photosynthetic pigments, indole acetic acid, phenolic, TSS, proline free amino acids contents and antioxidant enzyme systems, as compared with their corresponding untreated controls. Foliar treatment of 5.0 mM melatonin showed the greatest growth, the studied biochemical aspects and yield quantity and quality of Letwania-9 and Sakha-2 varieties of flax plants either at normal irrigation or under stress conditions. Finally we can conclude that, melatonin treatment improved and alleviated the reduced effect of drought stress on growth and yield of two flax varieties through enhancing photosynthetic pigment, osmoptrotectants and antioxidant enzyme systems. 5 mM was the most effective concentration.
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:There is a growing need to enhance the productivity of soybean (Glycine max L.) under severe drought conditions in order to improve global food security status. Melatonin, a ubiquitous hormone, could alleviate drought stress in various plants. Earlier, we demonstrated that exogenous melatonin treatment could enhance the tolerance of drought-treated soybean. However, the underlying mechanisms by which this hormone exerts drought resistance is still unclear. The present study used transcriptomic and metabolomic techniques to determine some critical genes and pathways regulating melatonin response to drought conditions. Results showed that exogenous melatonin treatment could increase relative water content and decrease electrolyte leakage in the leaves and increase seed yield under drought stress. Transcriptomic analysis showed that there were 852 core differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that were regulated by drought stress and melatonin in soybean leaves. The most enriched drought-responsive genes are mainly involved in the 'biosynthesis of secondary metabolites'. Metabolomic profiling under drought stress showed higher accumulation levels of secondary metabolites related to drought tolerance after exogenous melatonin treatment. Also, we highlighted the vital role of the pathways including phenylpropanoid, flavonoid, isoflavonoid, and steroid biosynthesis pathways for improvement of drought tolerance in soybean by exogenous melatonin treatment. In all, findings from this study give detailed molecular basis for the application of melatonin as a drought-resistant agent in soybean cultivation.
Project description: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.