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Genes Dev. 2007 Aug 1;21(15):1863-8.

Canopy shade causes a rapid and transient arrest in leaf development through auxin-induced cytokinin oxidase activity.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology, National Research Council, 00185 Rome, Italy.


A plant grown under canopies perceives the reduction in the ratio of red (R) to far-red (FR) light as a warning of competition, and enhances elongation growth in an attempt to overgrow its neighbors. Here, we report that the same low R/FR signal that induces hypocotyl elongation also triggers a rapid arrest of leaf primordium growth, ensuring that plant resources are redirected into extension growth. The growth arrest induced by low R/FR depends on auxin-induced cytokinin breakdown in incipient vein cells of developing primordia, thus demonstrating the existence of a previously unrecognized regulatory circuit underlying plant response to canopy shade.

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