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Curr Biol. 2019 Aug 5;29(15):2580-2585.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.06.071. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

Short- and Long-Term Effects of UVA on Arabidopsis Are Mediated by a Novel cGMP Phosphodiesterase.

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School of Biological Sciences, Life Sciences Building, University of Bristol, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TH, UK.
Department of Computer Science, Merchant Venturers Building, University of Bristol, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UB, UK.
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB, UK.
Department of Biology, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK.
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Simon Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Francis Crick Avenue, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge CB2 0QU, UK.
School of Biological Sciences, Life Sciences Building, University of Bristol, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TH, UK. Electronic address:


Although UVA radiation (315-400 nm) represents 95% of the UV radiation reaching the earth's surface, surprisingly little is known about its effects on plants [1]. We show that in Arabidopsis, short-term exposure to UVA inhibits the opening of stomata, and this requires a reduction in the cytosolic level of cGMP. This process is independent of UVR8, the UVB receptor. A cGMP-activated phosphodiesterase (AtCN-PDE1) was responsible for the UVA-induced decrease in cGMP in Arabidopsis. AtCN-PDE1-like proteins form a clade within the large HD-domain/PDEase-like protein superfamily, but no eukaryotic members of this subfamily have been functionally characterized. These genes have been lost from the genomes of metazoans but are otherwise conserved as single-copy genes across the tree of life. In longer-term experiments, UVA radiation increased growth and decreased water-use efficiency. These experiments revealed that PDE1 is also a negative regulator of growth. As the PDE1 gene is ancient and not represented in animal lineages, it is likely that at least one element of cGMP signaling in plants has evolved differently to the system present in metazoans.


Arabidopsis, evolution; UVA; cGMP; cGMP-phosphodiesterase; cyclic nucleotides; guard cell signaling; light signaling; water-use efficiency

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