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Plant J. 1998 Jan;13(2):221-30.

Phytochrome controls the number of endoreduplication cycles in the Arabidopsis thaliana hypocotyl.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire, INRA, Versailles, France.


A majority of the cells in the Arabidopsis hypocotyl undergo endoreduplication. The number of endocycles in this organ is partially controlled by light. Up to two cycles occur in light-grown hypocotyls, whereas in the dark about 30% of the cells go through a third cycle. Is the inhibition of the third endocycle in the light an indirect result of the reduced cell size in the light-grown hypocotyl, or is it under independent light control? To address this question, the authors examined the temporal and spacial patterns of endoreduplication in light- or dark-grown plants and report here on the following observations: (i) during germination two endocycles take place prior to any significant cell expansion; (ii) in the dark the third cycle is completed very early during cell growth; and (iii) a mutation that dramatically reduces cell size does not interfere with the third endocycle. The authors then used mutants to study the way light controls the third endocycle and found that the third endocycle is completely suppressed in far red light through the action of phytochrome A and, to a lesser extent, in red light by phytochrome B. Furthermore, no 16C nuclei were observed in dark-grown constitutive photomorphogenic 1 seedlings. And, finally the hypocotyl of the cryptochrome mutant, hy4, grown in blue light was about three times longer than that of the wild-type without a significant difference in ploidy levels. Together, the results support the view that the inhibition of the third endocycle in light-grown hypocotyls is not the consequence of a simple feed-back mechanism coupling the number of cycles to the cell volume, but an integral part of the phytochrome-controlled photomorphogenic program.

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