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Plant Cell. 1993 Feb;5(2):147-57.

Mutations in the gene for the red/far-red light receptor phytochrome B alter cell elongation and physiological responses throughout Arabidopsis development.

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Plant Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute, San Diego, California 92186-5800.


Phytochromes are a family of plant photoreceptors that mediate physiological and developmental responses to changes in red and far-red light conditions. In Arabidopsis, there are genes for at least five phytochrome proteins. These photoreceptors control such responses as germination, stem elongation, flowering, gene expression, and chloroplast and leaf development. However, it is not known which red light responses are controlled by which phytochrome species, or whether the different phytochromes have overlapping functions. We report here that previously described hy3 mutants have mutations in the gene coding for phytochrome B (PhyB). These are the first mutations shown to lie in a plant photoreceptor gene. A number of tissues are abnormally elongated in the hy3(phyB) mutants, including hypocotyls, stems, petioles, and root hairs. In addition, the mutants flower earlier than the wild type, and they accumulate less chlorophyll. PhyB thus controls Arabidopsis development at numerous stages and in multiple tissues.

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