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Molecules 2018, 23(7), 1605; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23071605

Exogenous Melatonin Improves Tolerance to Water Deficit by Promoting Cuticle Formation in Tomato Plants

1,†
,
1,2,†
,
1
and
1,*
1
College of Forestry, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
2
Guizhou Academy of Forestry, Guiyang, Guizhou 550005, China
These authors equally contributed to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 30 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
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Abstract

The plant cuticle, composed of cutin and waxes, is a hydrophobic layer coating the aerial organs of terrestrial plants and playing a critical role in limiting water loss. While melatonin has been recently demonstrated to be involved in responses to drought stress in plants, its relationship with cuticle formation is not known. In the present work, we report the effects of melatonin on the formation of cuticle in tomato leaves subjected to water deficit. Preliminary analysis by light microscope showed that tomato leaves pretreated with exogenous melatonin might have thicker cutin than tomato leaves without melatonin pretreatment under water deficit condition. Chemical characterization showed that exogenous application of melatonin increased the level of cuticular waxes in tomato leaves under water deficit. Consistent with the change in cuticular waxes was the increased abundance of wax-associated gene transcripts. Further, assessment of water loss and chlorophyll leaching in tomato leaves revealed the association of cuticle deposition with reduced leaf permeability, which is important in restricting water loss in water deficit-stressed tomato plants. These results suggest a role for melatonin in regulating leaf cuticle formation and non-stomatal water loss in leaves. View Full-Text
Keywords: melatonin; cuticle; cutin; cuticular wax; water deficit; leaf permeability; tomato plants melatonin; cuticle; cutin; cuticular wax; water deficit; leaf permeability; tomato plants
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Ding, F.; Wang, G.; Wang, M.; Zhang, S. Exogenous Melatonin Improves Tolerance to Water Deficit by Promoting Cuticle Formation in Tomato Plants. Molecules 2018, 23, 1605.

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