Light signals in leaf and chloroplast development: photoreceptors and downstream responses in search of a transduction pathway

New Biol. 1991 Jun;3(6):538-48.


Light affects both the development and the metabolism of plants. In addition to the role of light in providing energy for photosynthesis, light signals cause profound changes in the morphology of the developing young seedling, including cotyledon expansion, leaf development, inhibition of stem growth, and production of chlorophyll in the photosynthetically competent chloroplast. The light-dependent development of plants (photomorphogenesis) is a complex process resulting from the combined action of several photoreceptors. This review summarizes what is known of the red- and blue-light photoreceptors that regulate dicotyledonous seedling development and the complexity of the downstream responses. Special emphasis is placed on the recent progress made toward genetic and biochemical dissection of the signal transduction pathways.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Chloroplasts / physiology
  • Chloroplasts / radiation effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / radiation effects
  • Light
  • Mutation
  • Photoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Photoreceptor Cells / radiation effects
  • Plant Development
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*
  • Plants / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / radiation effects