Melatonin and carbohydrate metabolism in plant cells

Marino B. Arnao, Josefa Hernández-Ruiz, Antonio Cano, Russel J. Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Melatonin, a multifunctional molecule that is present in all living organisms studied, is synthesized in plant cells in several intercellular organelles including in the chloroplasts and in mitochondria. In plants, melatonin has a relevant role as a modulatory agent which improves their tolerance response to biotic and abiotic stress. The role of melatonin in stress conditions on the primary metabolism of plant carbohydrates is reviewed in the present work. Thus, the modulatory actions of melatonin on the various biosynthetic and degradation pathways involving simple carbohydrates (mono-and disaccharides), polymers (starch), and derivatives (polyalcohols) in plants are evaluated. The possible applications of the use of melatonin in crop improvement and postharvest products are examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1917
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Carbohydrates
  • Melatonin
  • Phytomelatonin
  • Primary metabolism
  • Starch
  • Sucrose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science
  • Ecology


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