Phytomelatonin: A master regulator for plant oxidative stress management

Kanika Khanna, Renu Bhardwaj, Pravej Alam, Russel J. Reiter, Parvaiz Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Phytomelatonin is the multifunctional molecule that governs a range of developmental processes in plants subjected to a plethora of environmental cues. It acts as an antioxidant molecule to regulate the oxidative burst through reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging. Moreover, it also activates stress-responsive genes followed by alleviating oxidation. Phytomelatonin also stimulates antioxidant enzymes that further regulate redox homeostasis in plants under adverse conditions. This multifunctional molecule also regulates different physiological processes of plants in terms of leaf senescence, seed germination, lateral root growth, photosynthesis, etc. Due to its versatile nature, it is regarded as a master regulator of plant cell physiology and it holds a crucial position in molecular signaling as well. Phytomelatonin mediated oxidative stress management occurs through a series of antioxidative defense systems, both enzymatic as well as non-enzymatic, along with the formation of an array of secondary defensive metabolites that counteract the stresses. These phytomelatonin-derived antioxidants reduce the lipid peroxidation and improve membrane integrity of the cells subjected to stress. Here in, the data from transcriptomic and omics approaches are summarized which help to identify the gene regulatory mechanisms involved in the regulation of redox homeostasis and oxidative stress management. Further, we also recap the signaling cascade underlying phytomelatonin interactions with both ROS and reactive nitrogen species (RNS)and their crosstalk. The discoveries related to phytomelatonin have shown that this regulatory master molecule is critical for plant cell physiology. The current review is focussed the role of phytomelatonin as a multifunctional molecule in plant stress management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-269
Number of pages10
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidants
  • Crosstalk with ROS and RNS
  • Oxidative stress
  • Phytomelatonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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