Phytomelatonin interferes with flavonols biosynthesis to regulate ROS production and stomatal closure in tobacco

Lin Xiao, Wenna Ma, Jiarong Zhang, Xiaojun Pu, Zed Rengel, Zhongbang Song, Qi Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flavonols are well-known antioxidants that prevent stomatal closure via interfering with ROS signaling. Phytomelatonin regulates stomatal closure, but the signaling pathways are still largely unknown. Here, we investigated the role of flavonols in phytomelatonin-mediated stomatal closure in tobacco plants. The application of melatonin induced stomatal closure through NADPH oxidase-mediated ROS production. Transgenic tobacco plants overexpressing soybean GmSNAT1 (coding for serotonin N-acetyltransferase that catalyzes the penultimate step in phytomelatonin biosynthesis) had higher phytomelatonin concentration, accumulated more ROS in guard cells and were more sensitive to melatonin-induced stomatal closure than the wild-type plants, which was associated with the higher expression of PMTR1-homologous genes. Exogenous melatonin decreased flavonol concentrations in guard cells and the expression of flavonoid-related genes in wild-type and transgenic tobacco plants, and these inhibitory effects were more obvious in GmSNAT1-overexpressing plants than the wild type. However, the melatonin-mediated stomatal closure and ROS production were diminished by the application of kaempferol (a type of flavonol). Additionally, transgenic tobacco plants with increased expression of NtFLS (encoding flavonol synthase) were less sensitive to melatonin-induced stomatal closure. In conclusion, phytomelatonin hampers the biosynthesis of flavonols in guard cells, which results in high concentration of ROS and induces stomatal closure in tobacco plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153977
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


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