Melatonin positively influences the photosynthetic machinery and antioxidant system of avena sativa during salinity stress

Nisha Varghese, Onoud Alyammahi, Sarah Nasreddine, Abla Alhassani, Mayank Anand Gururani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have demonstrated melatonin protects various crops against abiotic stresses. However, the effects of melatonin on the photosynthetic apparatus of stressed plants is poorly characterized. We investigated the effects of melatonin pretreatment on photosynthesis and tolerance to salinity stress in Avena sativa (oat) plants. Oat plants were exposed to four treatments (three replicate pots per treatment): well-watered (WW; control); watered with 300 mM salt solution for 10 days (NaCl); pretreated with 100 µM melatonin solution for 7 days then watered normally for 10 days (Mel+W); or pretreated with 100 µM melatonin for 7 days then 300 mM salt for 10 days (Mel+NaCl). Considerable differences in growth parameters, chlorophyll content, stomatal conductance, proline accumulation, lipid peroxidation, electrolyte leakage, and growth parameters were observed between groups. Genes encoding three major antioxidant enzymes were upregulated in the Mel+NaCl group compared to the other groups. Chlorophyll-a fluorescence kinetic analyses revealed that almost all photosynthetic parameters were improved in Mel+NaCl plants compared to the other treatments. Analysis of genes encoding the major extrinsic proteins of photosystem II (PSII) revealed that PsbA, PsbB, PsbC, and PsbD (but not PsbO) were highly upregulated in Mel+NaCl plants compared to the other groups, indicating melatonin positively influenced photosynthesis under control conditions and salt stress. In addition, melatonin upregulated stress-responsive NAC transcription factor genes in plants exposed to salt stress. These findings suggest melatonin pretreatment improves photosynthesis and enhances salt tolerance in oat plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number610
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • Abiotic stress
  • Chlorophyll-a
  • Fluorescence
  • Melatonin
  • Photosystem II
  • Quantitative PCR
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Melatonin positively influences the photosynthetic machinery and antioxidant system of avena sativa during salinity stress'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this