[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In many plant species, the duration of the daily exposure to light (photoperiod) provides a seasonal cue that helps to adjust flowering time to the most favourable time of the year. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the core mechanism of acceleration of flowering by long days involves the stabilisation of the CONSTANS (CO) protein by light reaching the leaves, the direct induction of the expression of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) by CO and the migration of FT to the apex to promote flowering. In rice (Oryza sativa), the promotion of flowering by short days depends on the interplay between light conditions, and the genes Grain number, plant height and heading date locus 7 (Ghd7) and Early heading date 1 (Ehd1). In both cases, other day length-induced changes reinforce the core photoperiodic pathway of promotion of flowering. However, there are regulators of flowering time, quantitatively less important than the core pathways but still significant, which impact in the opposite direction, i.e. favouring rice flowering under long days or Arabidopsis flowering under short days. We show, for instance, that short days enhance leaf expression of SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN-LIKE 3 (SPL3), which stimulates Arabidopsis flowering under these conditions. We propose that fine tuning of flowering time depends on the balance of a hierarchy of multiple points of action of photoperiod on the network controlling flowering.
Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences 12/2010; 10(4):451-60. · 2.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Green light added to blue light has been proposed to shift cryptochromes from their semireduced active form to the reduced, inactive state. Whether the increased proportion of green light observed under leaf canopies compared to open places reduces cryptochrome-mediated effects remained to be elucidated. Here we report that the length of the hypocotyl of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) seedlings grown under controlled conditions decreased linearly with increasing blue/green ratios of the light within the range of ratios found in natural environments. This effect was stronger under higher irradiances. We developed a model, parameterized on the basis of field experiments including photoreceptor mutants, where hypocotyl growth of seedlings exposed to different natural radiation environments was related to the action and interaction of phytochromes and cryptochromes. Adding the blue/green ratio of the light in the term involving cryptochrome activity improved the goodness of fit of the model, thus supporting a role of the blue/green ratio under natural radiation. The blue/green ratio decreased sharply with increasing shade by green grass leaves to one-half of the values observed in open places. The impact of blue/green ratio on cryptochrome-mediated inhibition of hypocotyl growth was at least as large as that of irradiance. We conclude that cryptochrome is a sensor of blue irradiance and blue/green ratio.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GIGANTEA (GI) is involved in the promotion of flowering by long days, in light input to the circadian clock, and in seedling de-etiolation under continuous red light or blue light but not under continuous far-red light (FR). Since red-light effects are mediated largely by phytochrome B and those of FR by phytochrome A (phyA), GI was considered not to affect phyA signaling. However, recent observations using brief FR pulses indicate that GI does affect the very-low-fluence response (VLFR) and not the high-irradiance response (HIR) pathway of phyA. Seed germination, seedling de-etiolation and gene expression showed rhythmic sensitivity to FR pulses. GI affected the magnitude but not the rhythmic pattern of the responses, indicating that GI regulation of phyA signaling does not derive from its effects on the clock. Here we show that despite de above divergence between VLFR and HIR, both pathways require the bZip transcription factor HY5. Furthermore, the blue-light phenotype of gi is not mediated by phyA, indicating a role of GI in the control of cryptochrome signaling. These findings illustrate features of plant signaling networks.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GIGANTEA (GI) is a nuclear protein involved in the promotion of flowering by long days, in light input to the circadian clock, and in seedling photomorphogenesis under continuous red light but not far-red light (FR). Here, we report that in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) different alleles of gi have defects in the hypocotyl-growth and cotyledon-unfolding responses to hourly pulses of FR, a treatment perceived by phytochrome A (phyA). This phenotype is rescued by overexpression of GI. The very-low-fluence response of seed germination was also reduced in gi. Since the circadian clock modulates many light responses, we investigated whether these gi phenotypes were due to alterations in the circadian system or light signaling per se. In experiments where FR pulses were given to dark-incubated seeds or seedlings at different times of the day, gi showed reduced seed germination, cotyledon unfolding, and activity of a luciferase reporter fused to the promoter of a chlorophyll a/b-binding protein gene; however, rhythmic sensitivity was normal in these plants. We conclude that while GI does not affect the high-irradiance responses of phyA, it does affect phyA-mediated very-low-fluence responses via mechanisms that do not obviously involve its circadian functions.