Advances in Botany http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Phytomelatonin: Discovery, Content, and Role in Plants Thu, 10 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/abot/2014/815769/ Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine) is an indolic compound derived from tryptophan. Usually identified as a neurotransmitter or animal hormone, this compound was detected in plants in 1995. Interest in knowing the melatonin content of plants and its possible role therein is growing, as indicated by the increasing number of related publications. Melatonin is present in all plant species studied, with large variations in its level depending on the plant organ or tissue. It seems to be more abundant in aromatic plants and in leaves than in seeds. Regarding its physiological function in plants, melatonin shows auxin activity and is an excellent antioxidant, regulating the growth of roots, shoots, and explants, activating seed germination and rhizogenesis (lateral- and adventitious-roots), and delaying induced leaf senescence. Its ability to strengthen plants subjected to abiotic stress such as drought, cold, heat, salinity, chemical pollutants, herbicides, and UV radiation makes melatonin an interesting candidate for use as a natural biostimulating substance for treating field crops. Marino B. Arnao Copyright © 2014 Marino B. Arnao. All rights reserved.