Overexpression of Arabidopsis phytochrome B inhibits phytochrome A function in the presence of sucrose.
Overexpression of phytochrome B (phyB) in Arabidopsis has previously been demonstrated to result in dominant negative interference of phytochrome A (phyA)-mediated hypocotyl growth inhibition in far-red (FR) light. This phenomenon has been examined further in this study and has been found to be dependent on the FR fluence rate and on the availability of metabolizable sugars in the growth medium. Poorly metabolized sugars capable of activating the putative hexokinase sensory function were not effective in eliciting the phytochrome interference response. Overexpressed phyB lacking the chromophore-binding site was also effective at inhibiting the phyA response, especially at higher fluence rates of FR. Overexpressed phyB produces the dominant negative phenotype without any apparent effect on phyA abundance or degradation. It is possible that phyA and phyB interact with a common reaction partner but that either the energy state of the cell or a separate sugar-signaling mechanism modulates the phytochrome-signaling interactions. (+info)
Antagonistic actions of Arabidopsis cryptochromes and phytochrome B in the regulation of floral induction.
The Arabidopsis photoreceptors cry1, cry2 and phyB are known to play roles in the regulation of flowering time, for which the molecular mechanisms remain unclear. We have previously hypothesized that phyB mediates a red-light inhibition of floral initiation and cry2 mediates a blue-light inhibition of the phyB function. Studies of the cry2/phyB double mutant provide direct evidence in support of this hypothesis. The function of cryptochromes in floral induction was further investigated using the cry2/cry1 double mutants. The cry2/cry1 double mutants showed delayed flowering in monochromatic blue light, whereas neither monogenic cry1 nor cry2 mutant exhibited late flowering in blue light. This result suggests that, in addition to the phyB-dependent function, cry2 also acts redundantly with cry1 to promote floral initiation in a phyB-independent manner. To understand how photoreceptors regulate the transition from vegetative growth to reproductive development, we examined the effect of sequential illumination by blue light and red light on the flowering time of plants. We found that there was a light-quality-sensitive phase of plant development, during which the quality of light exerts a profound influence on flowering time. After this developmental stage, which is between approximately day-1 to day-7 post germination, plants are committed to floral initiation and the quality of light has little effect on the flowering time. Mutations in either the PHYB gene or both the CRY1 and CRY2 genes resulted in the loss of the light-quality-sensitive phase manifested during floral development. The commitment time of floral transition, defined by a plant's sensitivity to light quality, coincides with the commitment time of inflorescence development revealed previously by a plant's sensitivity to light quantity - the photoperiod. Therefore, the developmental mechanism resulting in the commitment to flowering appears to be the direct target of the antagonistic actions of the photoreceptors. (+info)
Photomophogenesis: Phytochrome takes a partner!
How light signals are transduced by phytochromes is still poorly understood. Recent studies have provided evidence that a PAS domain protein, PIF3, physically interacts with phytochromes, plays a role in phytochrome signal transduction and might be a component of a novel signalling pathway in plants. (+info)
Light-dependent translocation of a phytochrome B-GFP fusion protein to the nucleus in transgenic Arabidopsis.
Phytochrome is a ubiquitous photoreceptor of plants and is encoded by a small multigene family. We have shown recently that a functional nuclear localization signal may reside within the COOH-terminal region of a major member of the family, phytochrome B (phyB) (Sakamoto, K., and A. Nagatani. 1996. Plant J. 10:859-868). In the present study, a fusion protein consisting of full-length phyB and the green fluorescent protein (GFP) was overexpressed in the phyB mutant of Arabidopsis to examine subcellular localization of phyB in intact tissues. The resulting transgenic lines exhibited pleiotropic phenotypes reported previously for phyB overexpressing plants, suggesting that the fusion protein is biologically active. Immunoblot analysis with anti-phyB and anti-GFP monoclonal antibodies confirmed that the fusion protein accumulated to high levels in these lines. Fluorescence microscopy of the seedlings revealed that the phyB-GFP fusion protein was localized to the nucleus in light grown tissues. Interestingly, the fusion protein formed speckles in the nucleus. Analysis of confocal optical sections confirmed that the speckles were distributed within the nucleus. In contrast, phyB-GFP fluorescence was observed throughout the cell in dark-grown seedlings. Therefore, phyB translocates to specific sites within the nucleus upon photoreceptor activation. (+info)
Heterologous expression of Arabidopsis phytochrome B in transgenic potato influences photosynthetic performance and tuber development.
Transgenic potato (Solanum tuberosum) plants expressing Arabidopsis phytochrome B were characterized morphologically and physiologically under white light in a greenhouse to explore their potential for improved photosynthesis and higher tuber yields. As expected, overexpression of functional phytochrome B caused pleiotropic effects such as semidwarfism, decreased apical dominance, a higher number of smaller but thicker leaves, and increased pigmentation. Because of increased numbers of chloroplasts in elongated palisade cells, photosynthesis per leaf area and in each individual plant increased. In addition, photosynthesis was less sensitive to photoinactivation under prolonged light stress. The beginning of senescence was not delayed, but deceleration of chlorophyll degradation extended the lifetime of photosynthetically active plants. Both the higher photosynthetic performance and the longer lifespan of the transgenic plants allowed greater biomass production, resulting in extended underground organs with increased tuber yields. (+info)
poc1: an Arabidopsis mutant perturbed in phytochrome signaling because of a T DNA insertion in the promoter of PIF3, a gene encoding a phytochrome-interacting bHLH protein.
The phytochrome family of informational photoreceptors has a central role in regulating light-responsive gene expression, but the mechanism of intracellular signal transduction has remained elusive. In a genetic screen for T DNA-tagged Arabidopsis mutants affected in early signaling intermediates, we identified poc1 (photocurrent 1), which exhibits enhanced responsiveness to red light. This phenotype is absent in a phyB (phytochrome B) null mutant background, indicating that the poc1 mutation enhances phyB signal transduction. The T DNA insertion in poc1 was found to be located in the promoter region of PIF3, a gene encoding a basic helix-loop-helix protein. The mutant phenotype seems to result from insertion-induced overexpression of this gene in red-light-grown seedlings, consistent with PIF3 functioning as a positively acting signaling intermediate. These findings, combined with data from a separate yeast two-hybrid screen that identified PIF3 as a phytochrome-interacting factor necessary for normal signaling, provide evidence that phytochrome signal transduction may include a direct pathway to photoresponsive nuclear genes via physical interaction of the photoreceptor molecules with the potential transcriptional regulator PIF3. (+info)
PKS1, a substrate phosphorylated by phytochrome that modulates light signaling in Arabidopsis.
Plants constantly monitor their light environment in order to grow and develop optimally, in part through use of the phytochromes, which sense red/far-red light. A phytochrome binding protein, PKS1 (phytochrome kinase substrate 1), was identified that is a substrate for light-regulated phytochrome kinase activity in vitro. In vivo experiments suggest that PKS1 is phosphorylated in a phytochrome-dependent manner and negatively regulates phytochrome signaling. The data suggest that phytochromes signal by serine-threonine phosphorylation. (+info)
Independent regulation of flowering by phytochrome B and gibberellins in Arabidopsis.
Phytochromes and gibberellins (GAs) coordinately regulate multiple aspects of Arabidopsis development. Phytochrome B (PHYB) promotes seed germination by increasing GA biosynthesis, but inhibits hypocotyl elongation by decreasing the responsiveness to GAs. Later in the life cycle of the plant, PHYB and GAs have opposite effects on flowering. PHYB delays flowering, while GAs promote flowering, particularly under noninductive photoperiods. To learn how PHYB and GAs interact in the control of flowering, we have analyzed the effect of a phyB mutation on flowering time and on the expression of the floral meristem-identity gene LFY (LEAFY). We show that the early flowering caused by phyB correlated with an increase in LFY expression, which complements our previous finding that GAs are required for activation of LFY under noninductive photoperiods (M.A. Blazquez, R. Green, O. Nilsson, M.R. Sussman, D. Weigel  Plant Cell 10: 791-800). Since phyB did not change the GA responsiveness of the LFY promoter and suppressed the lack of flowering of severe GA-deficient mutants under short days, we propose that PHYB modulates flowering time at least partially through a GA-independent pathway. Interestingly, the effects of PHYB on flowering do not seem to be mediated by transcriptional up-regulation of genes such as CO (CONSTANS) and FT (Flowering locus T), which are known to mediate the effects of the photoperiod-dependent floral-induction pathway. (+info)