Snf1-related protein kinase 1 is needed for growth in a normal day-night light cycle

EMBO J. 2004 Apr 21;23(8):1900-10. doi: 10.1038/sj.emboj.7600182. Epub 2004 Apr 1.


The yeast Snf1 protein kinase and its animal homologue, the AMP-activated protein kinase, play important roles in metabolic regulation, by serving as energy gauges that turn off energy-consuming processes and mobilize energy reserves during low-energy conditions. The closest homologue of these kinases in plants is Snf1-related protein kinase 1 (SnRK1). We have cloned two SnRK1-encoding genes, PpSNF1a and PpSNF1b, in the moss Physcomitrella patens, where gene function can be studied directly by gene targeting in the haploid gametophyte. A snf1a snf1b double knockout mutant is viable, but lacks all Snf1-like protein kinase activity. The mutant has a complex phenotype that includes developmental abnormalities, premature senescence and altered sensitivities to plant hormones. Remarkably, the double knockout mutant also requires continuous light, and is unable to grow in a normal day-night light cycle. This suggests that SnRK1 is needed for metabolic changes that help the plant cope with the dark hours of the night.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Bryopsida / drug effects
  • Bryopsida / enzymology
  • Bryopsida / growth & development*
  • Bryopsida / radiation effects*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cellular Senescence
  • Cytokinins / pharmacology
  • Darkness*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Targeting
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Humans
  • Indoleacetic Acids / pharmacology
  • Light*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Starch / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cytokinins
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Starch
  • SNF1-related protein kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • SNF4 protein, S cerevisiae
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases