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.
Plant physiology 09/2010; 154(1):401-9. · 6.53 Impact Factor