Biotech Updates

Scientists Find Animal Hormone Melatonin is Involved in Plant Stress Tolerance

June 22, 2016

Melatonin, a well known hormone that promotes sleep in humans and animals, is also involved in stress tolerance in plants, according to a recently published study.

Together with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas, USA, crop physiologists from the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of Copenhagen has documented the roles of melatonin in drought priming and stress memory in barley. The study suggests that external melatonin application enhances drought priming induced cold tolerance (DPICT) and resulted in higher concentrations of abscisic acid (ABA) in barley. The interplay of melatonin and ABA results in plants that can better maintain water.

According to first author Dr. Xiangnan Li and Associate Professor Fulai Liu, the senior author of the article, "Regulating melatonin production in plants via drought priming could be a promising approach to enhancing abiotic stress tolerance of crops in future climate scenarios."

Read more at the University of Copenhagen website.