Melatonin regulates antioxidative mechanisms in microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Volvocales, Chlorophyceae)

Ofir Tal, Haviva Malkiel, Boynao Sinam, Orna Harel, Abraham Haim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of melatonin (MLT) in micro- and macroalgae is the subject of continuous discussion. In eukaryotic unicellular organisms, the physiological role of MLT seems to differ from those of higher plants and mammals. Experimental data on the role of MLT in algae suggest that it acts mainly as an antioxidant. In the present study, the physiological role of MLT in phototrophic organisms was studied by measuring its effects on periodically controlled processes (cell division and HSP70B expression) as well as mechanisms involved in oxidative stress protection (carotenoids, FeSOD and MnSOD expression). The presence of MLT in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was assessed and quantified using analytical thin-layer chromatography followed by fluorescence measurements. These data reveal that photoperiod had a significant influence on the processes and mechanisms studied in C. reinhardtii. Moreover, MLT had the greatest impact on C. reinhardtii under conditions promoting photo-oxidative stress. Addition of MLT to the growth medium down-regulated carotenoid content and the expression of FeSOD and MnSOD. These results support the idea that MLT has a physiological role as a direct and indirect antioxidant agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-298
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 International Phycological Society.


  • Antioxidant
  • Chlamydomonas
  • Melatonin
  • Photoperiod
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


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