Rapid severing and motility of chloroplast-actin filaments are required for the chloroplast avoidance response in Arabidopsis

Plant Cell. 2013 Feb;25(2):572-90. doi: 10.1105/tpc.113.109694. Epub 2013 Feb 12.


Phototropins (phot1 and phot2 in Arabidopsis thaliana) relay blue light intensity information to the chloroplasts, which move toward weak light (the accumulation response) and away from strong light (the avoidance response). Chloroplast-actin (cp-actin) filaments are vital for mediating these chloroplast photorelocation movements. In this report, we examine in detail the cp-actin filament dynamics by which the chloroplast avoidance response is regulated. Although stochastic dynamics of cortical actin fragments are observed on the chloroplasts, the basic mechanisms underlying the disappearance (including severing and turnover) of the cp-actin filaments are regulated differently from those of cortical actin filaments. phot2 plays a pivotal role in the strong blue light-induced severing and random motility of cp-actin filaments, processes that are therefore essential for asymmetric cp-actin formation for the avoidance response. In addition, phot2 functions in the bundling of cp-actin filaments that is induced by dark incubation. By contrast, the function of phot1 is dispensable for these responses. Our findings suggest that phot2 is the primary photoreceptor involved in the rapid reorganization of cp-actin filaments that allows chloroplasts to change direction rapidly and control the velocity of the avoidance movement according to the light's intensity and position.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis / drug effects
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / physiology
  • Chloroplasts / physiology*
  • Darkness
  • Diacetyl / analogs & derivatives
  • Diacetyl / pharmacology
  • Light
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • PHOT2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Phosphoproteins
  • diacetylmonoxime
  • NPH1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Diacetyl