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Plant J. 2004 Sep;39(5):747-60.

Phenotypic characterization of a photomorphogenic mutant.

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1
Department of Molecular Biology, 30 quai E. Ansermet, 1211 Genève 4, Switzerland. christian.fankhauser@molbio.unige.ch

Abstract

Light is arguably the most important abiotic factor controlling plant growth and development throughout their life cycle. Plants have evolved sophisticated light-sensing mechanisms to monitor fluctuations in light quality, intensity, direction and periodicity (day length). In Arabidopsis, three families of photoreceptors have been identified by molecular genetic studies. The UV-A/blue light receptors cryptochromes and the red/far-red receptors phytochromes control an overlapping set of responses including photoperiodic flowering induction and de-etiolation. Phototropins are the primary photoreceptors for a set of specific responses to UV-A/blue light such as phototropism, chloroplast movement and stomatal opening. Mutants affecting a photoreceptor have a characteristic phenotype. It is therefore possible to determine the specific developmental responses and the photoreceptor pathway(s) affected in a mutant by performing an appropriate set of photobiological and genetic experiments. In this paper, we outline the principal and easiest experiments that can be performed to obtain a first indication about the nature of the photobiological defect in a given mutant.

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