New insights of red light-induced development

Plant Cell Environ. 2017 Nov;40(11):2457-2468. doi: 10.1111/pce.12880. Epub 2017 Feb 18.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Light*
  • Phytochrome / chemistry
  • Phytochrome / metabolism
  • Plant Development / radiation effects*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / radiation effects
  • Signal Transduction / radiation effects
  • Temperature


  • Phytochrome