Contributions of green light to plant growth and development

Am J Bot. 2013 Jan;100(1):70-8. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1200354. Epub 2013 Jan 1.


Light passing through or reflected from adjacent foliage provides a developing plant with information that is used to guide specific genetic and physiological processes. Changes in gene expression underlie adaptation to, or avoidance of, the light-compromised environment. These changes have been well described and are mostly attributed to a decrease in the red light to far-red light ratio and/or a reduction in blue light fluence rate. In most cases, these changes rely on the integration of red/far-red/blue light signals, leading to changes in phytohormone levels. Studies over the last decade have described distinct responses to green light and/or a shift of the blue-green, or red-green ratio. Responses to green light are typically low-light responses, suggesting that they may contribute to the adaptation to growth under foliage or within close proximity to other plants. This review summarizes the growth responses in artificially manipulated light environments with an emphasis on the roles of green wavebands. The information may be extended to understanding the influence of green light in shade avoidance responses as well as other plant developmental and physiological processes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Light*
  • Photoreceptors, Plant / metabolism
  • Plant Development / drug effects
  • Plant Development / genetics
  • Plant Development / radiation effects*
  • Plant Dormancy / drug effects
  • Plant Dormancy / genetics
  • Plant Dormancy / radiation effects
  • Plant Growth Regulators / pharmacology
  • Plant Stomata / drug effects
  • Plant Stomata / physiology
  • Plant Stomata / radiation effects


  • Photoreceptors, Plant
  • Plant Growth Regulators