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Plant Physiol. 2010 Aug;153(4):1834-45. doi: 10.1104/pp.110.153031. Epub 2010 Jun 7.

Functional analysis of amino-terminal domains of the photoreceptor phytochrome B.

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Institute of Plant Biology, Biological Research Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-6726 Szeged, Hungary.


At the core of the circadian network in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), clock genes/proteins form multiple transcriptional/translational negative feedback loops and generate a basic approximately 24-h oscillation, which provides daily regulation for a wide range of processes. This temporal organization enhances the fitness of plants only if it corresponds to the natural day/night cycles. Light, absorbed by photoreceptors, is the most effective signal in synchronizing the oscillator to environmental cycles. Phytochrome B (PHYB) is the major red/far-red light-absorbing phytochrome receptor in light-grown plants. Besides modulating the pace and phase of the circadian clock, PHYB controls photomorphogenesis and delays flowering. It has been demonstrated that the nuclear-localized amino-terminal domain of PHYB is capable of controlling photomorphogenesis and, partly, flowering. Here, we show (1) that PHYB derivatives containing 651 or 450 amino acid residues of the amino-terminal domains are functional in mediating red light signaling to the clock, (2) that circadian entrainment is a nuclear function of PHYB, and (3) that a 410-amino acid amino-terminal fragment does not possess any functions of PHYB due to impaired chromophore binding. However, we provide evidence that the carboxyl-terminal domain is required to mediate entrainment in white light, suggesting a role for this domain in integrating red and blue light signaling to the clock. Moreover, careful analysis of the circadian phenotype of phyB-9 indicates that PHYB provides light signaling for different regulatory loops of the circadian oscillator in a different manner, which results in an apparent decoupling of the loops in the absence of PHYB under specific light conditions.

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