Phototropin-related NPL1 controls chloroplast relocation induced by blue light

Nature. 2001 Apr 19;410(6831):952-4. doi: 10.1038/35073622.


In photosynthetic cells, chloroplasts migrate towards illuminated sites to optimize photosynthesis and move away from excessively illuminated areas to protect the photosynthetic machinery. Although this movement of chloroplasts in response to light has been known for over a century, the photoreceptor mediating this process has not been identified. The Arabidopsis gene NPL1 (ref. 2) is a paralogue of the NPH1 gene, which encodes phototropin, a photoreceptor for phototropic bending. Here we show that NPL1 is required for chloroplast relocation induced by blue light. A loss-of-function npl1 mutant showed no chloroplast avoidance response in strong blue light, whereas the accumulation of chloroplasts in weak light was normal. These results indicate that NPL1 may function as a photoreceptor mediating chloroplast relocation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins*
  • Chloroplasts / physiology*
  • Cryptochromes
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Eye Proteins*
  • Flavoproteins / genetics
  • Flavoproteins / physiology
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Plant
  • Light*
  • Movement
  • Mutation
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate*
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / physiology*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • CRY1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Cryptochromes
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Flavoproteins
  • PHOT2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • cry protein, Drosophila
  • NPH1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases