Moonlight Is Perceived as a Signal Promoting Genome Reorganization, Changes in Protein and Metabolite Profiles and Plant Growth

Jeevan R. Singiri, Govindegowda Priyanka, Vikas S. Trishla, Zachor Adler-Agmon, Gideon Grafi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rhythmic exposure to moonlight has been shown to affect animal behavior, but its effects on plants, often observed in lunar agriculture, have been doubted and often regarded as myth. Consequently, lunar farming practices are not well scientifically supported, and the influence of this conspicuous environmental factor, the moon, on plant cell biology has hardly been investigated. We studied the effect of full moonlight (FML) on plant cell biology and examined changes in genome organization, protein and primary metabolite profiles in tobacco and mustard plants and the effect of FML on the post-germination growth of mustard seedlings. Exposure to FML was accompanied by a significant increase in nuclear size, changes in DNA methylation and cleavage of the histone H3 C-terminal region. Primary metabolites associated with stress were significantly increased along with the expression of stress-associated proteins and the photoreceptors phytochrome B and phototropin 2; new moon experiments disproved the light pollution effect. Exposure of mustard seedlings to FML enhanced growth. Thus, our data show that despite the low-intensity light emitted by the moon, it is an important environmental factor perceived by plants as a signal, leading to alteration in cellular activities and enhancement of plant growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1121
JournalPlants
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Brassica juncea
  • Nicotiana tabacum
  • full moonlight
  • genome organization
  • lunar farming
  • metabolome
  • photoreceptors
  • post-germination growth
  • proteome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science
  • Ecology

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