Melatonin is widely involved in growth, development, and stress responses in plants. Although the melatonin synthesis enzymes have been identified in various plants, their interacting proteins remain unknown. Herein, overexpression of tryptophan decarboxylase 2 (MeTDC2)-interacting proteins, N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase 2 (MeASMT2) interacting proteins, and N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase 3 (MeASMT3) in cassava leaf protoplasts resulted in more melatonin than when other enzymes were overexpressed. Through yeast two-hybrid, 14 MeTDC2-interacting proteins, 24 MeASMT2 interacting proteins, and 9 MeASMT3-interacting proteins were identified. Notably, we highlighted MeWRKY20 and MeWRKY75 as common interacting proteins of the 3 enzymes, as evidenced by yeast two-hybrid, and in vivo bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC). Moreover, co-overexpression of MeTDC2/MeASMT2/3 with MeWRKY20/75 in cassava leaf protoplasts did not only activated the transcriptional activities of MeWRKY20 and MeWRKY75 on W-box, but also induced the effects of MeTDC2, MeASMT2/3 on endogenous melatonin levels. Taken together, 3 melatonin synthesis enzymes (MeTDC2, MeASMT2/3) interact with MeWRKY20/75 to form a protein complex in cassava. This information significantly extends the knowledge of the complex modulation of plant melatonin signaling.
- N-aceylserotonin O-methyltransferase
- WRKY transcription factor
- cassava (Manihot esculenta)
- melatonin biosynthesis enzyme
- protein-protein interaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas