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Plant Cell. 2016 Nov;28(11):2770-2785. Epub 2016 Oct 6.

Epidermal Phytochrome B Inhibits Hypocotyl Negative Gravitropism Non-Cell-Autonomously.

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Department of Biological Sciences, KAIST, Daejeon 34141, Korea.
Department of Biological Sciences, KAIST, Daejeon 34141, Korea


Seedling hypocotyls display negative gravitropism in the dark but agravitropism in the light. The Arabidopsis thaliana pif quadruple mutant (pifQ), which lacks four PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTORS (PIFs), is agravitropic in the dark. Endodermis-specific expression of PIF1 rescues gravitropism in pifQ mutant seedlings. Since phytochromes induce light responses by inhibiting PIFs and the COP1-SPA ubiquitin E3 ligase complex in the nucleus, we asked whether phyB can cell autonomously inhibit hypocotyl negative gravitropism in the endodermis. We found that while epidermis-specific expression of PHYB rescues hypocotyl negative gravitropism and all other phyB mutant phenotypes, endodermis-specific expression of PHYB does not. Epidermal phyB induces the phosphorylation and degradation of endodermal PIFs in response to red light. This induces a global gene expression pattern similar to that induced by red light treatment of seedlings expressing PHYB under the control of its own endogenous promoter. Our results imply that epidermal phyB generates an unidentified mobile signal that travels to the endodermis where it promotes PIF degradation and inhibits hypocotyl negative gravitropism.

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