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Functional characterization of GhPHOT2 in chloroplast avoidance of Gossypium hirsutum

Shang, Baoshuan, Zang, Yihao, Zhao, Xiang, Zhu, Jindong, Fan, Cheng, Guo, Xining, Zhang, Xiao
Plant physiology and biochemistry 2019 v.135 pp. 51-60
Arabidopsis, Gossypium arboreum, Gossypium hirsutum, Gossypium raimondii, bioinformatics, blue light, chloroplasts, cotton, cultivars, diploidy, gene expression, gene silencing, genetic analysis, irradiation, leaves, light intensity, lighting, models, mutants, photoreceptors, phototropism, plasma membrane, tetraploidy
Chloroplast movement mediated by the plant-specific phototropin blue light photoreceptors is crucial for plants to cope with fluctuating light conditions. While chloroplasts accumulate at weak light-illuminated areas, chloroplast avoidance response mediated primarily by the phototropin2 (phot2) receptor is induced by strong light illumination. Although extensive studies have been performed on phot2-mediated chloroplast avoidance in the model plant Arabidopsis, little is known on the role of the corresponding PHOT2 orthologs in chloroplast movement in cotton. In this study, we found that chloroplast avoidance movement also occurs in the tetraploid G. hirsutum and two diploid species, G. arboreum and G. raimondii, albeit with distinct features. Further bioinformatics and genetic analysis identified the cotton PHOT2 ortholog, GhPHOT2-1, which retained a conserved role in plant chloroplast avoidance movement under strong blue light. Ghphot2-1was localized in the plasma membrane and formed aggregates after high blue light irradiation. Constitutive expression of GhPHOT2-1 restored chloroplast avoidance and accumulation response, as well as phototropism, and leaf flattening characteristics of the Arabidopsis phot2 or phot1 phot2 mutants. On the contrary, silencing of GhPHOT2-1 by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) disrupted high blue light-induced chloroplast avoidance movement and caused photo damage in cotton leaves. Taken together, these findings demonstrated that GhPHOT2-1 is a conserved PHOT2 ortholog in regulating chloroplast avoidance and the other aforementioned phot2-mediated responses, implicating its potential role for improving high light tolerance in cotton cultivars.