The photoreceptor phytochrome A acts as a light-dependent molecular switch and regulates responses initiated by very low fluences of light (VLFR) and high fluences (HIR) of far-red light. PhyA is expressed ubiquitously, but how phyA signaling is orchestrated to regulate photomorphogenesis is poorly understood. To address this issue, we generated transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana phyA-201 mutant lines expressing the biologically active phyA-YFP photoreceptor in different tissues, and analyzed the expression of several reporter genes, including ProHY5:HY5-GFP and Pro35S:CFP-PIF1, and various FR-HIR-dependent physiological responses. We show that phyA action in one tissue is critical and sufficient to regulate flowering time and root growth; control of cotyledon and hypocotyl growth requires simultaneous phyA activity in different tissues; and changes detected in the expression of reporters are not restricted to phyA-containing cells. We conclude that FR-HIR-controlled morphogenesis in Arabidopsis is mediated partly by tissue-specific and partly by intercellular signaling initiated by phyA. Intercellular signaling is critical for many FR-HIR induced responses, yet it appears that phyA modulates the abundance and activity of key regulatory transcription factors in a tissue-autonomous fashion.
Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; photomorphogenesis; phytochrome A; signaling; tissue/cell specificity; transcription.
© 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.