Arabidopsis contains at least four independent blue-light-activated signal transduction pathways.
We have investigated the stomatal and phototropic responses to blue light of a number of single and double mutants at various loci that encode proteins involved in blue-light responses in Arabidopsis. The stomatal responses of light-grown mutant plants (cry1, cry2, nph1, nph3, nph4, cry1cry2, and nph1cry1) did not differ significantly from those of their wild-type counterparts. Second positive phototropic responses of etiolated mutant seedlings, cry1, cry2, cry1cry2, and npq1-2, were also similar to those of their wild-type counterparts. Although npq1 and single and double cry1cry2 mutants showed somewhat reduced amplitude for first positive phototropism, threshold, peak, and saturation fluence values for first positive phototropic responses of etiolated seedlings did not differ from those of wild-type seedlings. Similar to the cry1cry2 double mutants and to npq1-2, a phyAphyB mutant showed reduced curvature but no change in the position or shape of the fluence-response curve. By contrast, the phototropism mutant nph1-5 failed to show phototropic curvature under any of the irradiation conditions used in the present study. We conclude that the chromoproteins cry1, cry2, nph1, and the blue-light photoreceptor for the stomatal response are genetically separable. Moreover, these photoreceptors appear to activate separate signal transduction pathways. (+info
LOV (light, oxygen, or voltage) domains of the blue-light photoreceptor phototropin (nph1): binding sites for the chromophore flavin mononucleotide.
Phototropism, the bending response of plant organs to or away from a directional light source, is one of the best studied blue light responses in plants. Although phototropism has been studied for more than a century, recent advances have improved our understanding of the underlying signaling mechanisms involved. The NPH1 gene of Arabidopsis thaliana encodes a blue light-dependent autophosphorylating protein kinase with the properties of a photoreceptor for phototropism. NPH1 apoprotein noncovalently binds FMN to form the holoprotein nph1. The N-terminal region of the protein contains two LOV (light, oxygen, or voltage) domains that share homology with sensor proteins from a diverse group of organisms. These include the bacterial proteins NIFL and AER, both of which bind FAD, and the phy3 photoreceptor from Adiantium capillus-veneris. The LOV domain has therefore been proposed to reflect a flavin-binding site, regulating nph1 kinase activity in response to blue light-induced redox changes. Herein we demonstrate that the LOV domains of two nph1 proteins and phy3 bind stoichiometric amounts of FMN when expressed in Escherichia coli. The spectral properties of the chromopeptides are similar to the action spectrum for phototropism, implying that the LOV domain binds FMN to function as a light sensor. Thus, our findings support the earlier model that nph1 is a dual-chromophoric flavoprotein photoreceptor regulating phototropic responses in higher plants. We therefore propose the name phototropin to designate the nph1 holoprotein. (+info
Arabidopsis NPH3: A NPH1 photoreceptor-interacting protein essential for phototropism.
Phototropism of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings in response to a blue light source is initiated by nonphototropic hypocotyl 1 (NPH1), a light-activated serine-threonine protein kinase. Mutations in three loci [NPH2, root phototropism 2 (RPT2), and NPH3] disrupt early signaling occurring downstream of the NPH1 photoreceptor. The NPH3 gene, now cloned, encodes a NPH1-interacting protein. NPH3 is a member of a large protein family, apparently specific to higher plants, and may function as an adapter or scaffold protein to bring together the enzymatic components of a NPH1-activated phosphorelay. (+info
Stimulation of the blue light phototropic receptor NPH1 causes a transient increase in cytosolic Ca2+.
Blue light regulates plant growth and development, and three photoreceptors, CRY1, CRY2, and NPH1, have been identified. The transduction pathways of these receptors are poorly understood. Transgenic plants containing aequorin have been used to dissect the involvement of these three receptors in the regulation of intracellular Ca2+. Pulses of blue light induce cytosolic Ca2+ transients lasting about 80 s in Arabidopsis and tobacco seedlings. Use of organelle-targeted aequorins shows that Ca2+ increases are limited to the cytoplasm. Blue light treatment of cry1, cry2, and nph1 mutants showed that NPH1, which regulates phototropism, is largely responsible for the Ca2+ transient. The spectral response of the Ca2+ transient is similar to that of phototropism, supporting NPH1 involvement. Furthermore, known interactions between red and blue light and between successive blue light pulses on phototropic sensitivity are mirrored in the blue light control of cytosolic Ca2+ in these seedlings. Our observations raise the possibility that physiological responses regulated by NPH1, such as phototropism, may be transduced through cytosolic Ca2+. (+info
Interaction of root gravitropism and phototropism in Arabidopsis wild-type and starchless mutants.
Root gravitropism in wild-type Arabidopsis and in two starchless mutants, pgm1-1 and adg1-1, was evaluated as a function of light position to determine the relative strengths of negative phototropism and of gravitropism and how much phototropism affects gravitropic measurements. Gravitropism was stronger than phototropism in some but not all light positions in wild-type roots grown for an extended period, indicating that the relationship between the two tropisms is more complex than previously reported. Root phototropism significantly influenced the time course of gravitropic curvature and the two measures of sensitivity. Light from above during horizontal exposure overestimated all three parameters for all three genotypes except the wild-type perception time. At the irradiance used (80 micromol m(-2) s(-1)), the shortest periods of illumination found to exaggerate gravitropism were 45 min of continuous illumination and 2-min doses of intermittent illumination. By growing roots in circumlateral light or by gravistimulating in the dark, corrected values were obtained for each gravitropic parameter. Roots of both starchless mutants were determined to be about three times less sensitive than prior estimates. This study demonstrates the importance of accounting for phototropism in the design of root gravitropism experiments in Arabidopsis. (+info
Interaction between gravitropism and phototropism in sporangiophores of Phycomyces blakesleeanus.
The interaction between gravitropism and phototropism was analyzed for sporangiophores of Phycomyces blakesleeanus. Fluence rate-response curves for phototropism were generated under three different conditions: (a) for stationary sporangiophores, which reached photogravitropic equilibrium; (b) for sporangiophores, which were clinostated head-over during phototropic stimulation; and (c) for sporangiophores, which were subjected to centrifugal accelerations of 2.3g to 8.4g. For blue light (454 nm), clinostating caused an increase of the slope of the fluence rate-response curves and an increase of the maximal bending angles at saturating fluence rates. The absolute threshold remained, however, practically unaffected. In contrast to the results obtained with blue light, no increase of the slope of the fluence rate-response curves was obtained with near-ultraviolet light at 369 nm. Bilateral irradiation with near-ultraviolet or blue light enhanced gravitropism, whereas symmetric gravitropic stimulation caused a partial suppression of phototropism. Gravitropism and phototropism appear to be tightly linked by a tonic feedback loop that allows the respective transduction chains a mutual influence over each other. The use of tropism mutants allowed conclusions to be drawn about the tonic feedback loop with the gravitropic and phototropic transduction chains. The results from clinostating mutants that lack octahedral crystals (implicated as statoliths) showed that these crystals are not involved in the tonic feedback loop. At elevated centrifugal accelerations, the fluence-rate-response curves for photogravitropic equilibrium were displaced to higher fluence rates and the slope decreased. The results indicate that light transduction possesses a logarithmic transducer, whereas gravi-transduction uses a linear one. (+info
Choice of tracks, microtubules and/or actin filaments for chloroplast photo-movement is differentially controlled by phytochrome and a blue light receptor.
Light induced chloroplast movement has been studied as a model system for photoreception and actin microfilament (MF)-based intracellular motilities in plants. Chloroplast photo-accumulation and -avoidance movement is mediated by phytochrome as well as blue light (BL) receptor in the moss Physcomitrella patens. Here we report the discovery of an involvement of a microtubule (MT)-based system in addition to an MF-based system in photorelocation of chloroplasts in this moss. In the dark, MTs provided tracks for rapid movement of chloroplasts in a longitudinal direction and MFs contributed the tracks for slow movement in any direction. We found that phytochrome responses utilized only the MT-based system, while BL responses had an alternative way of moving, either along MTs or MFs. MT-based systems were mediated by both photoreceptors, but chloroplasts showed movements with different velocity and pattern between them. No apparent difference in the behavior of chloroplast movement between the accumulation and avoidance movement was detected in phytochrome responses or BL responses, except for the direction of the movement. The results presented here demonstrate that chloroplasts use both MTs and MFs for motility and that phytochrome and a BL receptor control directional photo-movement of chloroplasts through the differential regulation of these motile systems. (+info
The hypocotyl chloroplast plays a role in phototropic bending of Arabidopsis seedlings: developmental and genetic evidence.
Chloroplasts of guard cells and coleoptiles have been implicated in the sensory transduction of blue light. The present study was aimed at establishing whether the chloroplast of the hypocotyl from Arabidopsis, another blue light-responding organ, has similar characteristics to that of sensory-transducing guard cell and coleoptile chloroplasts. Results showed that the phototropic curvature and arch length induced by blue light in Arabidopsis seedlings matched the distribution of mature chloroplasts in the bending hypocotyl. The bending arch consistently included the region of the hypocotyl containing mature chloroplasts, and never extended beyond that region. Manipulation of the extent of greening of dark-grown hypocotyls by varying red light pretreatments elicited blue light-stimulated curvatures and arch lengths that depended on the duration of the red light pretreatment and on the distribution of mature chloroplasts in the hypocotyl. Albino psd2 mutants of Arabidopsis, which lack mature chloroplasts, are devoid of phototropic sensitivity under conditions in which wild-type seedlings show large curvatures. The star mutant of Arabidopsis has a delayed greening and a delayed phototropic response as compared with wild type. Measurements of photosynthetic oxygen evolution and carbon fixation, dark respiration, and light-dependent zeaxanthin formation in the hypocotyl showed features similar to those of guard cells and coleoptiles, and distinctly different from those of mesophyll tissue. These results indicate that the hypocotyl chloroplast has characteristics similar to those associated with guard cell and coleoptile chloroplasts, and that phototropic bending of Arabidopsis hypocotyls appears to require mature chloroplasts. (+info