Melatonin in plants

  • Małgorzata M. PosmykEmail author
  • Krystyna M. Janas


A widespread occurrence of melatonin (MEL) in plant kingdom has been reported. MEL is a highly conserved molecule occurring in evolutionary distant organisms. Its role in plants seems to be similar to that in animals. Although MEL function in plants is not well known, yet a hypothesis can be put forward that it probably functions as a night signal, coordinating responses to diurnal and photoperiodic environmental cues. It has also been suggested that MEL is an independent plant growth regulator, probably its action is analogous to IAA and it may mediate the actions of other plant growth regulators. Due to its antioxidant properties MEL may also stabilize cell red-ox status and protect them against reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other harmful environmental influence.


Antioxidants Circadian rhythm Growth regulators Melatonin 



Aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase




Dry weight


Fresh weight


Glutathione reductase


Glutathione peroxidase




Indole-3-acetic acid








Indole-3-butyric acid


Indole-3-pyruvic acid






Reactive oxygen species




Serotonin N-acetyltransferase


Superoxide dismutase


Tryptamine 5-hydroxylase


Tryptamine deaminase


Tryptophan 5-hydroxylase


Tryptophan decarboxylase



Scientific work financed by Ministry of Science and Higher Education in 2008–2011 as a research project N N310 143035


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ecophysiology and Plant DevelopmentUniversity of LodzLodzPoland

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