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Open AccessArticle

Overexpression of TaCOMT Improves Melatonin Production and Enhances Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis

1
College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University/State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas, Yangling 712100, China
2
Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)/National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Triticeae Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100081, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to the present work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030652
Received: 9 December 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanisms of Drought Stress Tolerance in Plants)
Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is involved in many developmental processes and responses to various abiotic stresses in plants. Most of the studies on melatonin focus on its functions and physiological responses in plants, while its regulation mechanism remains unknown. Caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) functions at a key step of the biosynthesis process of melatonin. In this study, a COMT-like gene, TaCOMT (Traes_1AL_D9035D5E0.1) was identified in common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Transient transformation in wheat protoplasts determined that TaCOMT is localized in cytoplasm. TaCOMT in wheat was induced by drought stress, gibberellin (GA)3 and 3-Indoleacetic acid (IAA), but not by ABA. In TaCOMT transgenic Arabidopsis, melatonin contents were higher than that in wild type (WT) plants. Under D-Mannitol treatment, the fresh weight of the transgenic Arabidopsis was significantly higher than WT, and transgenic lines had a stronger root system compared to WT. Drought tolerance assays in pots showed that the survival rate of TaCOMT-overexpression lines was significantly higher than that of WT lines. this phenotype was similar to that the WT lines treated with melatonin under drought condition. In addition, the TaCOMT transgenic lines had higher proline content and lower malondialdehyde (MDA) content compared to WT lines after drought treatment. These results indicated that overexpression of the wheat TaCOMT gene enhances drought tolerance and increases the content of melatonin in transgenic Arabidopsis. It could be one of the potential genes for agricultural applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: wheat; melatonin; caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase; drought tolerance; signaling pathway wheat; melatonin; caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase; drought tolerance; signaling pathway
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, W.-J.; Du, Y.-T.; Zhou, Y.-B.; Chen, J.; Xu, Z.-S.; Ma, Y.-Z.; Chen, M.; Min, D.-H. Overexpression of TaCOMT Improves Melatonin Production and Enhances Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 652. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030652

AMA Style

Yang W-J, Du Y-T, Zhou Y-B, Chen J, Xu Z-S, Ma Y-Z, Chen M, Min D-H. Overexpression of TaCOMT Improves Melatonin Production and Enhances Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019; 20(3):652. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030652

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yang, Wen-Jing; Du, Yong-Tao; Zhou, Yong-Bin; Chen, Jun; Xu, Zhao-Shi; Ma, You-Zhi; Chen, Ming; Min, Dong-Hong. 2019. "Overexpression of TaCOMT Improves Melatonin Production and Enhances Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 20, no. 3: 652. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030652

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