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J Exp Bot. 2001 Jan;52(354):91-7.

The hypocotyl chloroplast plays a role in phototropic bending of Arabidopsis seedlings: developmental and genetic evidence.

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Department of Organismic Biology, Ecology and Evolution, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1606, USA.


Chloroplasts of guard cells and coleoptiles have been implicated in the sensory transduction of blue light. The present study was aimed at establishing whether the chloroplast of the hypocotyl from Arabidopsis, another blue light-responding organ, has similar characteristics to that of sensory-transducing guard cell and coleoptile chloroplasts. Results showed that the phototropic curvature and arch length induced by blue light in Arabidopsis seedlings matched the distribution of mature chloroplasts in the bending hypocotyl. The bending arch consistently included the region of the hypocotyl containing mature chloroplasts, and never extended beyond that region. Manipulation of the extent of greening of dark-grown hypocotyls by varying red light pretreatments elicited blue light-stimulated curvatures and arch lengths that depended on the duration of the red light pretreatment and on the distribution of mature chloroplasts in the hypocotyl. Albino psd2 mutants of Arabidopsis, which lack mature chloroplasts, are devoid of phototropic sensitivity under conditions in which wild-type seedlings show large curvatures. The star mutant of Arabidopsis has a delayed greening and a delayed phototropic response as compared with wild type. Measurements of photosynthetic oxygen evolution and carbon fixation, dark respiration, and light-dependent zeaxanthin formation in the hypocotyl showed features similar to those of guard cells and coleoptiles, and distinctly different from those of mesophyll tissue. These results indicate that the hypocotyl chloroplast has characteristics similar to those associated with guard cell and coleoptile chloroplasts, and that phototropic bending of Arabidopsis hypocotyls appears to require mature chloroplasts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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