An evolutionary view of melatonin synthesis and metabolism related to its biological functions in plants

Dun Xian Tan, Russel J. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Plant melatonin research is a rapidly developing field. A variety of isoforms of melatonin's biosynthetic enzymes are present in different plants. Due to the different origins, they exhibit independent responses to the variable environmental stimuli. The locations for melatonin biosynthesis in plants are chloroplasts and mitochondria. These organelles have inherited their melatonin biosynthetic capacities from their bacterial ancestors. Under ideal conditions, chloroplasts are the main sites of melatonin biosynthesis. If the chloroplast pathway is blocked for any reason, the mitochondrial pathway will be activated for melatonin biosynthesis to maintain its production. Melatonin metabolism in plants is a less studied field; its metabolism is quite different from that of animals even though they share similar metabolites. Several new enzymes for melatonin metabolism in plants have been cloned and these enzymes are absent in animals. It seems that the 2-hydroxymelatonin is a major metabolite of melatonin in plants and its level is ~400-fold higher than that of melatonin. In the current article, from an evolutionary point of view, we update the information on plant melatonin biosynthesis and metabolism. This review will help the reader to understand the complexity of these processes and promote research enthusiasm in these fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4677-4689
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Volume71
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

Keywords

  • Abiotic stress
  • Chloroplasts
  • Melatonin
  • Metabolism
  • Mitochondria
  • Plants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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