Light and shade in the photocontrol of Arabidopsis growth

Trends Plant Sci. 2002 Sep;7(9):399-404. doi: 10.1016/s1360-1385(02)02314-2.


Plants have evolved sophisticated sensing mechanisms that operate through phytochromes, perceiving changes in the red:far-red ratio, which trigger morphological changes to avoid shade. The shade-avoidance response essentially redirects resources and growth potential from the leaf and storage organs into increased extension growth to optimize light capture by plants. Recent studies implicate ATHB-2, a homeodomain-leucine zipper transcription factor, as a regulator of shade-avoidance responses and establish a strong link between this factor and auxin signaling. The action of ATHB-2 is likely to generate changes in auxin distribution that produce distinct but coordinated effects on different cell types across the plant. Future studies should highlight how polarity of auxin transport is altered in response to light-quality changes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Arabidopsis / radiation effects
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Biological Transport / physiology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Darkness
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Light
  • Models, Biological
  • Phylogeny
  • Phytochrome / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / radiation effects


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • HB-2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Phytochrome