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Beneficial Effects of Melatonin in Overcoming Drought Stress in Wheat Seedlings.

Guibin Cui, Xiaoxiao Zhao, Shudong Liu, Fengli Sun, Chao Zhang, Yajun Xi.

Plant Physiology and Biochemistry

DOI:10.1016/j.plaphy.2017.06.014

 

 

Abstract: Melatonin plays an important role in abiotic stress in plant, but its role in wheat drought tolerance is less known. To verify its role, wheat seedlings (Triticum aestivum L. ‘Yan 995’) at 60% and 40% of field capacity were treated with 500 m M melatonin in this study. Melatonin treatment significantly enhanced the drought tolerance of wheat seedlings, as demonstrated by decreased membrane damage, more intact grana lamella of chloroplast, higher photosynthetic rate, and maximum efficiency of photosystem II, as well as higher cell turgor and water holding capacity in melatonin-treated seedlings. Besides, melatonin markedly decreased the content of hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anion in melatonin-treated seedlings, which is attributed to the increased total antioxidant capacity, GSH and AsA contents, as well as enzyme activity including ascorbate peroxidase (APX), monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR), dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and glutathione transferase (GST). The GSH-AsA related genes including APX, MDHAR, and DHAR were commonly upregulated by melatonin and correlated to the antioxidant enzyme activity as well as the content of GSH and AsA, indicating that the increase of GSH and AsA was attributed to the expression of these genes. Our result confirmed the mitigation potential of melatonin in drought stress and certain mechanisms of melatonininduced GSH and AsA accumulation, which could deepen our understanding of melatonin-induced drought tolerance in wheat.