Light perception and signalling in higher plants

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2003 Oct;6(5):446-52. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5266(03)00082-7.


Plants monitor changes in the ambient light environment using sensory photoreceptor families: the phototropins and cryptochromes, which absorb UV-A or blue light; the phytochromes, which sense red/far-red light; and the UV-B photoreceptors, which have not yet been identified. Recent advances suggest that photoreceptor-induced signalling cascades regulate light-modulated gene expression. These regulatory networks interact at the levels of transcription, posttranslational modification and nucleo-cytoplasmic compartmentalisation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cryptochromes
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Eye Proteins*
  • Flavoproteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / radiation effects
  • Light
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate*
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins / genetics*
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins / radiation effects
  • Phytochrome / genetics
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plants / radiation effects
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction / radiation effects


  • Cryptochromes
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Flavoproteins
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • cry protein, Drosophila
  • Phytochrome