Get access

Role of melatonin in alleviating cold stress in Arabidopsis thaliana

Authors

  • Vikramjit S. Bajwa,

    1. Department of Plant Agriculture, Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Mukund R. Shukla,

    1. Department of Plant Agriculture, Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Sherif M. Sherif,

    1. Department of Plant Agriculture, Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Susan J. Murch,

    1. Chemistry Department, University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Praveen K. Saxena

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Plant Agriculture, Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada
    • Address reprint requests to Praveen K. Saxena, Department of Plant Agriculture, Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.

      E-mail: psaxena@uoguelph.ca

    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) has been implicated in abiotic and biotic stress tolerance in plants. However, information on the effects of melatonin in cold-stress tolerance in vivo is limited. In this study, the effect of melatonin was investigated in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana challenged with a cold stress at 4⁰C for 72 and 120 hr. Melatonin-treated plants (10 and 30 μm) had significantly higher fresh weight, primary root length, and shoot height compared with the nontreated plants. To aid in the understanding of the role of melatonin in alleviating cold stress, we investigated the effects of melatonin treatment on the expression of cold-related genes. Melatonin up-regulated the expression of C-repeat-binding factors (CBFs)/Drought Response Element Binding factors (DREBs), a cold-responsive gene, COR15a, a transcription factor involved in freezing and drought-stress tolerance CAMTA1 and transcription activators of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-related antioxidant genes, ZAT10 and ZAT12, following cold stress. The up-regulation of cold signaling genes by melatonin may stimulate the biosynthesis of cold-protecting compounds and contribute to the increased growth of plants treated with exogenous melatonin under cold stress.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary