, Volume 197, Issue 2, pp 213-218

Co-action between phytochrome B and HY4 in Arabidopsis thaliana

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A combination of physiological and genetic approaches was used to investigate whether phytochromes and blue light (BL) photoreceptors act in a fully independent manner during photomorphogenesis of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. Wild-type seedlings and phyA, phyBand hy4 mutants were daily exposed to 3 h BL terminated with either a red light (R) or a far-red light (FR) pulse. In wild-type and phyA-mutant seedlings, BL followed by an R pulse inhibited hypocotyl growth and promoted cotyledon unfolding. The effects of BL were reduced if exposure to BL was followed by an FR pulse driving phytochrome to the R-absorbing form (Pr). In the wild type, the effects of R versus FR pulses were small in seedlings not exposed to BL. Thus, maximal responses depended on the presence of both BL and the FR-absorbing form of phytochrome (Pfr) in the subsequent dark period. Impaired responses to BL and to R versus FR pulses were observed in phyB and hy4 mutants. Simultaneous irradiation with orange light indicated that BL, perceived by specific BL photoreceptors (i.e. not by phytochromes), required phytochrome B to display a full effect. These results indicate interdependent co-action between phytochrome B and BL photoreceptors, particularly the HY4 gene product. No synergism between phytochrome A (activated by continuous or pulsed FR) and BL photoreceptors was observed.

We thank Professors R.E. Kendrick and M. Koornneef (Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands), Professor J. Chory (Salk Institute, Calif., USA) and the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (Ohio State University, Ohio, USA) for their kind provision of the original seed batches. This work was financially supported by CONICET, Universidad de Buenos Aires (AG 040) and Fundación Antorchas (A-12830/1 0000/9)