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      Melatonin as Master Regulator in Plant Growth, Development and Stress Alleviator for Sustainable Agricultural Production: Current Status and Future Perspectives

      , , , , , , ,
      Sustainability
      MDPI AG

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          Abstract

          Melatonin, a multifunctional signaling molecule, is ubiquitously distributed in different parts of a plant and responsible for stimulating several physiochemical responses against adverse environmental conditions in various plant systems. Melatonin acts as an indoleamine neurotransmitter and is primarily considered as an antioxidant agent that can control reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in plants. Melatonin, being a signaling agent, induces several specific physiological responses in plants that might serve to enhance photosynthesis, growth, carbon fixation, rooting, seed germination and defense against several biotic and abiotic stressors. It also works as an important modulator of gene expression related to plant hormones such as in the metabolism of indole-3-acetic acid, cytokinin, ethylene, gibberellin and auxin carrier proteins. Additionally, the regulation of stress-specific genes and the activation of pathogenesis-related protein and antioxidant enzyme genes under stress conditions make it a more versatile molecule. Because of the diversity of action of melatonin, its role in plant growth, development, behavior and regulation of gene expression it is a plant’s master regulator. This review outlines the main functions of melatonin in the physiology, growth, development and regulation of higher plants. Its role as anti-stressor agent against various abiotic stressors, such as drought, salinity, temperatures, UV radiation and toxic chemicals, is also analyzed critically. Additionally, we have also identified many new aspects where melatonin may have possible roles in plants, for example, its function in improving the storage life and quality of fruits and vegetables, which can be useful in enhancing the environmentally friendly crop production and ensuring food safety.

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          Postharvest exogenous melatonin enhances quality and delays the senescence of cucumber

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            Control efficiency ofexogenous melatonin against postharvest apple grey mold and its influence on theactivity of defensive enzymes

            Cao, F. Cao, Z. Yu (2017)
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              Melatonin in edible plants (phytomelatonin): Identification, concentrations, bioavailability and proposed functions

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
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                Journal
                SUSTDE
                Sustainability
                Sustainability
                MDPI AG
                2071-1050
                January 2021
                December 30 2020
                : 13
                : 1
                : 294
                Article
                10.3390/su13010294
                d0f7ca3a-93ad-4497-9242-d80721d08605
                © 2020

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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