Melatonin delays leaf senescence and enhances salt stress tolerance in rice

Chengzhen Liang, Guangyong Zheng, Wenzhen Li, Yiqin Wang, Bin Hu, Hongru Wang, Hongkai Wu, Yangwen Qian, Xin Guang Zhu, Dun Xian Tan, Shou Yi Chen, Chengcai Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Melatonin, an antioxidant in both animals and plants, has been reported to have beneficial effects on the aging process. It was also suggested to play a role in extending longevity and enhancing abiotic stress resistance in plant. In this study, we demonstrate that melatonin acts as a potent agent to delay leaf senescence and cell death in rice. Treatments with melatonin significantly reduced chlorophyll degradation, suppressed the transcripts of senescence-associated genes, delayed the leaf senescence, and enhanced salt stress tolerance. Genome-wide expression profiling by RNA sequencing reveals that melatonin is a potent free radical scavenger, and its exogenous application results in enhanced antioxidant protection. Leaf cell death in noe1, a mutant with over-produced H2O2, can be relieved by exogenous application of melatonin. These data demonstrate that melatonin delays the leaf senescence and cell death and also enhances abiotic stress tolerance via directly or indirectly counteracting the cellular accumulation of H2O2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-101
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of pineal research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • cell death
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • leaf senescence
  • melatonin
  • rice
  • transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Melatonin delays leaf senescence and enhances salt stress tolerance in rice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this