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Melatonin Application Improves Salt Tolerance of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) by Enhancing Antioxidant Capacity

College of Grassland Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
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Plants 2020, 9(2), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9020220
Received: 20 December 2019 / Revised: 23 January 2020 / Accepted: 6 February 2020 / Published: 8 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is an important and widely cultivated forage grass. The productivity and forage quality of alfalfa are severely affected by salt stress. Melatonin is a bioactive molecule with versatile physiological functions and plays important roles in response to various biotic and abiotic stresses. Melatonin has been proven efficient in improving alfalfa drought and waterlogging tolerance in recent studies. In our reports, we applied melatonin exogenously to explore the effects of melatonin on alfalfa growth and salt resistance. The results demonstrated that melatonin application promoted alfalfa seed germination and seedling growth, and reduced oxidative damage under salt stress. Further application research found that melatonin alleviated salt injury in alfalfa plants under salt stress. The electrolyte leakage, malondialdehyde (MDA) content and H2O2 content were significantly reduced, and the activities of catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), and Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn-SOD) were increased with melatonin pretreatment compared to control plants under salt stress with the upregulation of genes related to melatonin and antioxidant enzymes biosynthesis. Melatonin was also involved in reducing Na+ accumulation in alfalfa plants. Our study indicates that melatonin plays a primary role as an antioxidant in scavenging H2O2 and enhancing activities of antioxidant enzymes to improve the salt tolerance of alfalfa plants. View Full-Text
Keywords: alfalfa; melatonin; salt tolerance; antioxidants alfalfa; melatonin; salt tolerance; antioxidants
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cen, H.; Wang, T.; Liu, H.; Tian, D.; Zhang, Y. Melatonin Application Improves Salt Tolerance of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) by Enhancing Antioxidant Capacity. Plants 2020, 9, 220. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9020220

AMA Style

Cen H, Wang T, Liu H, Tian D, Zhang Y. Melatonin Application Improves Salt Tolerance of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) by Enhancing Antioxidant Capacity. Plants. 2020; 9(2):220. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9020220

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cen, Huifang, Tingting Wang, Huayue Liu, Danyang Tian, and Yunwei Zhang. 2020. "Melatonin Application Improves Salt Tolerance of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) by Enhancing Antioxidant Capacity" Plants 9, no. 2: 220. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9020220

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