Posted by: HortAlaska | April 23, 2022

Melatonin and Peony Stem Strength

Melatonin enhances stem strength by increasing the lignin content and secondary cell wall thickness in herbaceous peony. by D. Zhao, Y. Luan, W. She, Y. Tang, X Huang, and J. Tao. 2022. Journal of Experimental Botany.

This research paper was just reported as a PDF of a research paper that has yet to be formally published in the Journal of Experimental Botany. I have not seen the whole article, but have included the abstract here. I think of melatonin in human biology, circadian rhythms and sleep cycles. This use is a whole new angle! I wonder what the cost would be to apply melatonin to an entire peony field??? Hm!


Cut flower quality is severely restrained by stem bending due to low stem strength. Melatonin has been shown to function in many aspects of plant growth and development, yet whether it can enhance stem strength and the corresponding underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We investigated the role of melatonin in the enhancement of herbaceous peony (Paeonia lactifloraPall.) stem strength by applying exogenous melatonin and changing endogenous melatonin biosynthesis. Endogenous melatonin level positively correlated with the lignin content and stem strength in various P. lactifloracultivars. Supplementation with exogenous melatonin significantly enhanced stem strength by increasing lignin content and the S/G lignin compositional ratio, upregulating lignin biosynthetic gene expression. Moreover, overexpression of tryptophan decarboxylase gene (TDC) responsible for the first committed step of melatonin biosynthesis in tobacco significantly increased endogenous melatonin, which further increased the S/G ratio and stem strength. Whereas silencing PlTDC in P. lactiflora decreased endogenous melatonin, the S/G ratio and stem strength. Finally, manipulating the expression of caffeic acid O-methyltransferase gene (COMT1), which is involved in both melatonin and lignin biosynthesis, showed even greater effects on melatonin, the S/G ratio and stem strength. Our results suggested that melatonin had a positive regulatory effect on P. lactiflora stem strength.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: