The red/far-red light absorbing photoreceptors phytochromes regulate development and growth and thus play an essential role in optimizing adaptation of the sessile plants to the ever-changing environment. Our understanding of how absorption of a red/far-red photon by phytochromes initiates/modifies diverse physiological responses has been steadily improving. Research performed in the last 5 years has been especially productive and led to significant conceptual changes about the mode of action of these photoreceptors. In this review, we focus on the phytochrome B photoreceptor, the major phytochrome species active in light-grown plants. We discuss how its light-independent inactivation (termed dark/thermal reversion), post-translational modification, including ubiquitination, phosphorylation and sumoylation, as well as heterodimerization with other phytochrome species modify red light-controlled physiological responses. Finally, we discuss how photobiological properties of phytochrome B enable this photoreceptor to function also as a thermosensor.
Keywords: SUMO; dark reversion; phosphorylation; photomorphogenesis; phytochrome B; temperature sensing.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.