Annu Rev Plant Physiol Plant Mol Biol. 1996 Jun;47:215-243. doi: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.47.1.215.


Light control of plant development is most dramatically illustrated by seedling development. Seedling development patterns under light (photomorphogenesis) are distinct from those in darkness (skotomorphogenesis or etiolation) with respect to gene expression, cellular and subcellular differentiation, and organ morphology. A complex network of molecular interactions couples the regulatory photoreceptors to developmental decisions. Rapid progress in defining the roles of individual photoreceptors and the downstream regulators mediating light control of seedling development has been achieved in recent years, predominantly because of molecular genetic studies in Arabidopsis thaliana and other species. This review summarizes those important recent advances and highlights the working models underlying the light control of cellular development. We focus mainly on seedling morphogenesis in Arabidopsis but include complementary findings from other species.