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Open AccessArticle

The Alleviation of Photosynthetic Damage in Tomato under Drought and Cold Stress by High CO2 and Melatonin

1
Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark
2
Institute of Vegetables, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou 310021, China
3
College of Horticulture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
4
Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130102, China
5
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 2630 Taastrup, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(15), 5587; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155587
Received: 26 June 2020 / Revised: 29 July 2020 / Accepted: 31 July 2020 / Published: 4 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Stress and Plants)
The atmospheric CO2 concentration (a[CO2]) is increasing at an unprecedented pace. Exogenous melatonin plays positive roles in the response of plants to abiotic stresses, including drought and cold. The effect of elevated CO2 concentration (e[CO2]) accompanied by exogenous melatonin on plants under drought and cold stresses remains unknown. Here, tomato plants were grown under a[CO2] and e[CO2], with half of the plants pre-treated with melatonin. The plants were subsequently treated with drought stress followed by cold stress. The results showed that a decreased net photosynthetic rate (PN) was aggravated by a prolonged water deficit. The PN was partially restored after recovery from drought but stayed low under a successive cold stress. Starch content was downregulated by drought but upregulated by cold. The e[CO2] enhanced PN of the plants under non-stressed conditions, and moderate drought and recovery but not severe drought. Stomatal conductance (gs) and the transpiration rate (E) was less inhibited by drought under e[CO2] than under a[CO2]. Tomato grown under e[CO2] had better leaf cooling than under a[CO2] when subjected to drought. Moreover, melatonin enhanced PN during recovery from drought and cold stress, and enhanced biomass accumulation in tomato under e[CO2]. The chlorophyll a content in plants treated with melatonin was higher than in non-treated plants under e[CO2] during cold stress. Our findings will improve the knowledge on plant responses to abiotic stresses in a future [CO2]-rich environment accompanied by exogenous melatonin. View Full-Text
Keywords: tomato; elevated CO2 concentration; melatonin; drought stress; cold stress; recovery tomato; elevated CO2 concentration; melatonin; drought stress; cold stress; recovery
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhou, R.; Wan, H.; Jiang, F.; Li, X.; Yu, X.; Rosenqvist, E.; Ottosen, C.-O. The Alleviation of Photosynthetic Damage in Tomato under Drought and Cold Stress by High CO2 and Melatonin. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 5587.

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