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Article|01 Sep 2021|OPEN
Metabolite profiling and transcriptome analyses reveal novel regulatory mechanisms of melatonin biosynthesis in hickory
Wenchao Chen1, Jiaqi Zhang1, Shan Zheng1, Zhanqi Wang2, Chuanmei Xu1, Qixiang Zhang1, Jiasheng Wu1 & Heqiang Lou1,
1State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Silviculture, Zhejiang A&F University, 311300 Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
2Key Laboratory of Vector Biology and Pathogen Control of Zhejiang Province, College of Life Sciences, Huzhou University, 313000 Huzhou, China

Horticulture Research 8,
Article number: 196 (2021)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2021.196
Views: 29

Received: 10 Dec 2020
Revised: 20 Apr 2021
Accepted: 06 Jun 2021
Published online: 01 Sep 2021


Studies have shown that melatonin regulates the expression of various elements in the biosynthesis and catabolism of plant hormones. In contrast, the effects of these different plant hormones on the biosynthesis and metabolism of melatonin and their underlying molecular mechanisms are still unclear. In this study, the melatonin biosynthesis pathway was proposed from constructed metabolomic and transcriptomic libraries from hickory (Carya cathayensis Sarg.) nuts. The candidate pathway genes were further identified by phylogenetic analysis, amino-acid sequence alignment, and subcellular localization. Notably, most of the transcription factor-related genes coexpressed with melatonin pathway genes were hormone-responsive genes. Furthermore, dual-luciferase and yeast one‐hybrid assays revealed that CcEIN3 (response to ethylene) and CcAZF2 (response to abscisic acid) could activate melatonin biosynthesis pathway genes, a tryptophan decarboxylase coding gene (CcTDC1) and an N-acetylserotonin methyltransferase coding gene (CcASMT1), by directly binding to their promoters, respectively. Our results provide a molecular basis for the characterization of novel melatonin biosynthesis regulatory mechanisms and demonstrate for the first time that abscisic acid and ethylene can regulate melatonin biosynthesis.