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Brassinosteroid mutants uncover fine tuning of phytochrome signaling

Luccioni, L.G., Oliverio, K.A., Yanovsky, M.J., Boccalandro, H.E., Casal, J.J.
Plant physiology 2002 v.128 no.1 pp. 173-181
Arabidopsis thaliana, light intensity, mutants, phytochrome, brassinosteroids, red light, far-red light, hypocotyls, cotyledons, anthocyanins, alleles, mutation, chemical constituents of plants
Phytochromes (phy) A and B provide higher plants the ability to perceive divergent light signals. phyB mediates red/far-red light reversible, low fluence responses (LFR). phyA mediates both very-low-fluence responses (VLFR), which saturate with single or infrequent light pulses of very low fluence, and high irradiance responses (HIR), which require sustained activation with far-red light. We investigated whether VLFR, LFR, and HIR are genetically coregulated. The Arabidopsis enhanced very-low-fluence response1 mutant, obtained in a novel screening under hourly far-red light pulses, showed enhanced VLFR of hypocotyl growth inhibition, cotyledon unfolding, blocking of greening, and anthocyanin synthesis. However, eve1 showed reduced LFR and HIR. eve1 was found allelic to the brassinosteroid biosynthesis mutant dim/dwarf1. The analysis of both the brassinosteroid mutant det2 in the Columbia background (where VLFR are repressed) and the phyA eve1 double mutant indicates that the negative effect of brassinosteroid mutations on LFR requires phyA signaling in the VLFR mode but not the expression of the VLFR. Under sunlight, hypocotyl growth of eve1 showed little difference with the wild type but failed to respond to canopy shadelight. We propose that the opposite regulation of VLFR versus LFR and HIR could be part of a context-dependent mechanism of adjustment of sensitivity to light signals.