Document Type

Article

Original Publication Date

2014

Journal/Book/Conference Title

PLOS ONE

Volume

9

DOI of Original Publication

10.1371/journal.pone.0093462

Comments

Originally Published at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093462

Date of Submission

November 2014

Abstract

Melatonin is a ubiquitous molecule and exists across kingdoms including plant species. Studies on melatonin in plants have mainly focused on its physiological influence on growth and development, and on its biosynthesis. Much less attention has been drawn to its affect on genome-wide gene expression. To comprehensively investigate the role(s) of melatonin at the genomics level, we utilized mRNA-seq technology to analyze Arabidopsis plants subjected to a 16-hour 100 pM (low) and 1 mM (high) melatonin treatment. The expression profiles were analyzed to identify differentially expressed genes. 100 pM melatonin treatment significantly affected the expression of only 81 genes with 51 down-regulated and 30 up-regulated. However, 1 mM melatonin significantly altered 1308 genes with 566 up-regulated and 742 down-regulated. Not all genes altered by low melatonin were affected by high melatonin, indicating different roles of melatonin in regulation of plant growth and development under low and high concentrations. Furthermore, a large number of genes altered by melatonin were involved in plant stress defense. Transcript levels for many stress receptors, kinases, and stress-associated calcium signals were up-regulated. The majority of transcription factors identified were also involved in plant stress defense. Additionally, most identified genes in ABA, ET, SA and JA pathways were up-regulated, while genes pertaining to auxin responses and signaling, peroxidases, and those associated with cell wall synthesis and modifications were mostly down-regulated. Our results indicate critical roles of melatonin in plant defense against various environmental stresses, and provide a framework for functional analysis of genes in melatonin-mediated signaling pathways.

Rights

Copyright: © 2014 Weeda et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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VCU Study of Biological Complexity Publications

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