Phenotypic characterization of a photomorphogenic mutant

Plant J. 2004 Sep;39(5):747-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2004.02148.x.


Light is arguably the most important abiotic factor controlling plant growth and development throughout their life cycle. Plants have evolved sophisticated light-sensing mechanisms to monitor fluctuations in light quality, intensity, direction and periodicity (day length). In Arabidopsis, three families of photoreceptors have been identified by molecular genetic studies. The UV-A/blue light receptors cryptochromes and the red/far-red receptors phytochromes control an overlapping set of responses including photoperiodic flowering induction and de-etiolation. Phototropins are the primary photoreceptors for a set of specific responses to UV-A/blue light such as phototropism, chloroplast movement and stomatal opening. Mutants affecting a photoreceptor have a characteristic phenotype. It is therefore possible to determine the specific developmental responses and the photoreceptor pathway(s) affected in a mutant by performing an appropriate set of photobiological and genetic experiments. In this paper, we outline the principal and easiest experiments that can be performed to obtain a first indication about the nature of the photobiological defect in a given mutant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Arabidopsis / radiation effects
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cryptochromes
  • Flavoproteins / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / radiation effects
  • Light*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype*
  • Phytochrome / physiology
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • CRY1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Cryptochromes
  • Flavoproteins
  • Phytochrome