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Plant Cell. 2001 Mar;13(3):521-34.

Isolation and characterization of rice phytochrome A mutants.

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Department of Plant Physiology, National Institute of Agrobiological Resources, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan.


To elucidate phytochrome A (phyA) function in rice, we screened a large population of retrotransposon (Tos17) insertional mutants by polymerase chain reaction and isolated three independent phyA mutant lines. Sequencing of the Tos17 insertion sites confirmed that the Tos17s interrupted exons of PHYA genes in these mutant lines. Moreover, the phyA polypeptides were not immunochemically detectable in these phyA mutants. The seedlings of phyA mutants grown in continuous far-red light showed essentially the same phenotype as dark-grown seedlings, indicating the insensitivity of phyA mutants to far-red light. The etiolated seedlings of phyA mutants also were insensitive to a pulse of far-red light or very low fluence red light. In contrast, phyA mutants were morphologically indistinguishable from wild type under continuous red light. Therefore, rice phyA controls photomorphogenesis in two distinct modes of photoperception--far-red light-dependent high irradiance response and very low fluence response--and such function seems to be unique and restricted to the deetiolation process. Interestingly, continuous far-red light induced the expression of CAB and RBCS genes in rice phyA seedlings, suggesting the existence of a photoreceptor(s) other than phyA that can perceive continuous far-red light in the etiolated seedlings.

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