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Trends Plant Sci. 2002 Aug;7(8):357-66.

Phytochrome ancestry: sensors of bilins and light.

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Dept of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


Phytochromes were long thought to have evolved in non-motile photosynthetic eukaryotes for adaptation to unfavorable light environments, but recent studies suggest that phytochromes evolved billions of years earlier from a tetrapyrrole sensor protein progenitor. These investigations have identified phytochromes and phytochrome-related proteins in photosynthetic bacteria (cyanobacteria and purple bacteria), nonphotosynthetic eubacteria and fungi - an observation that has opened new avenues for investigating the origins, molecular evolution and biochemical functions of this ecologically important family of plant photoreceptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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