Both phytochrome A and phytochrome B are required for the normal expression of phototropism in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings
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The role of phytochrome A (phyA) and phytochrome B (phyB) in phototropism was investigated by using the phytochrome-deficient mutants phyA-101, phyB-1 and a phyA/phyB double mutant. The red-light-induced enhancement of phototropism, which is normally observed in wild-type seedlings, could not be detected in the phyA/phyB mutant at fluences of red light between 0.1 and 19 000 mu mol m(-2). The loss of phyB has been shown to have no apparent effect on enhancement, while the loss of phyA resulted in a loss of enhancement only in the low fluence range (Janoudi et al. 1997). The conclusions of the aforementioned study can now be modified based on the current results which indicate that phototropic enhancement in the high fluence range is mediated by either phyA or phyB, and that other phytochromes have no role in enhancement. First positive phototropism was unaffected in phyA-101 and phyB-1. However, the magnitude of first positive phototropism in the phyA/phyB mutant was significantly lower than that of the wild-type Landsberg parent. Thus, the presence of either phyA or phyB is required for normal expression of first positive phototropism. The time threshold for second positive phototropism is unaltered in the phyA-101 and phyB-1 mutants. However, the time threshold in the phyA/phyB mutant is about 2 h, approximately six times that of the wild type. Finally, the magnitude of second positive phototropism in both phyA-101 and phyB-1 is diminished in comparison with the wild-type response. Thus, phyA and phyB, acting independently or in combination, regulate the magnitude of phototropic curvature and the time threshold for second positive phototropism. We conclude that the presence of phyA and phyB is required, but not sufficient, for the expression of normal phototropism.