Effects of Light Quality and Phytochrome Form on Melatonin Biosynthesis in Rice

Biomolecules. 2020 Mar 30;10(4):523. doi: 10.3390/biom10040523.


Light is an important factor influencing melatonin synthesis in response to cadmium treatment in rice. However, the effects of light quality on, and the involvement of phytochrome light receptors in, melatonin production have not been explored. In this study, we used light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to investigate the effect of light wavelength on melatonin synthesis, and the role of phytochromes in light-dependent melatonin induction in rice. Upon cadmium treatment, peak melatonin production was observed under combined red and blue (R + B) light, followed by red (R) and blue light (B). However, both far-red (FR) LED light and dark treatment (D) failed to induce melatonin production. Similarly, rice seedlings grown under the R + B treatment showed the highest melatonin synthesis, followed by those grown under B and R. These findings were consistent with the results of our cadmium treatment experiment. To further confirm the effects of light quality on melatonin synthesis, we employed rice photoreceptor mutants lacking functional phytochrome genes. Melatonin induction was most inhibited in the phytochrome A mutant (phyA) followed by the phyB mutant under R + B treatment, whereas phyB produced the least amount of melatonin under R treatment. These results indicate that PhyB is an R light receptor. Expression analyses of genes involved in melatonin biosynthesis clearly demonstrated that tryptophan decarboxylase (TDC) played a key role in phytochrome-mediated melatonin induction when rice seedlings were challenged with cadmium.

Keywords: blue light; cadmium; light intensity; melatonin; rice phy mutants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Color
  • Light*
  • Melatonin / biosynthesis*
  • Mutation
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / metabolism*
  • Oryza / radiation effects*
  • Phytochrome / metabolism*
  • Serotonin / biosynthesis


  • Phytochrome
  • Serotonin
  • Melatonin