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Plant Physiol. 1999 Mar;119(3):909-15.

Phytochrome D acts in the shade-avoidance syndrome in Arabidopsis by controlling elongation growth and flowering time.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH United Kingdom.


Shade avoidance in higher plants is regulated by the action of multiple phytochrome (phy) species that detect changes in the red/far-red ratio (R/FR) of incident light and initiate a redirection of growth and an acceleration of flowering. The phyB mutant of Arabidopsis is constitutively elongated and early flowering and displays attenuated responses to both reduced R/FR and end-of-day far-red light, conditions that induce strong shade-avoidance reactions in wild-type plants. This indicates that phyB plays an important role in the control of shade avoidance. In Arabidopsis phyB and phyD are the products of a recently duplicated gene and share approximately 80% identity. We investigated the role played by phyD in shade avoidance by analyzing the responses of phyD-deficient mutants. Compared with the monogenic phyB mutant, the phyB-phyD double mutant flowers early and has a smaller leaf area, phenotypes that are characteristic of shade avoidance. Furthermore, compared with the monogenic phyB mutant, the phyB-phyD double mutant shows a more attenuated response to a reduced R/FR for these responses. Compared with the phyA-phyB double mutant, the phyA-phyB-phyD triple mutant has elongated petioles and displays an enhanced elongation of internodes in response to end-of-day far-red light. These characteristics indicate that phyD acts in the shade-avoidance syndrome by controlling flowering time and leaf area and that phyC and/or phyE also play a role.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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