Molecular mechanisms and evolutionary history of phytomelatonin in flowering

Zongmin Mou, Houping Wang, Suiyun Chen, Russel J. Reiter, Dake Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Flowering is a critical stage in plant life history, which is coordinated by environmental signals and endogenous cues. Phytomelatonin is a widely distributed indoleamine present in all living organisms and plays pleiotropic roles in plant growth and development. Recent evidence has established that phytomelatonin could modulate flowering in many species, probably in a concentration-dependent manner. Phytomelatonin seems to associate with floral meristem identification and floral organ formation, and the fluctuation of phytomelatonin might be important for flowering. Regarding the underlying mechanisms, phytomelatonin interacts with the central components of floral gene regulatory networks directly or indirectly, including the MADS-box gene family, phytohormones, and reactive oxygen species (ROS). From an evolutionary point of view, the actions of phytomelatonin in flowering probably evolved during the period of the diversification of flowering plants and could be regarded as a functional extension of its primary activities. The presumed evolutionary history of phytomelatonin-modulated flowering is proposed, presented in the chronological order of the appearance of phytomelatonin and core flowering regulators, namely DELLA proteins, ROS, and phytohormones. Further efforts are needed to address some intriguing aspects, such as the exploration of the association between phytomelatonin and photoperiodic flowering, phytomelatonin-related floral MADS-box genes, the crosstalk between phytomelatonin and phytohormones, as well as its potential applications in agriculture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5840-5850
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • Evolution
  • MADS-box
  • ROS
  • floral gene regulatory networks
  • flowering
  • molecular mechanism
  • photoperiod
  • phytohormone
  • phytomelatonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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