Shade caused by the proximity of neighboring vegetation triggers a set of acclimation responses to either avoid or tolerate shade. Comparative analyses between the shade-avoider Arabidopsis thaliana and the shade-tolerant Cardamine hirsuta revealed a role for the atypical basic-helix-loop-helix LONG HYPOCOTYL IN FR 1 (HFR1) in maintaining the shade tolerance in C. hirsuta, inhibiting hypocotyl elongation in shade and constraining expression profile of shade-induced genes. We showed that C. hirsuta HFR1 protein is more stable than its A. thaliana counterpart, likely due to its lower binding affinity to CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENIC 1 (COP1), contributing to enhance its biological activity. The enhanced HFR1 total activity is accompanied by an attenuated PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR (PIF) activity in C. hirsuta. As a result, the PIF-HFR1 module is differently balanced, causing a reduced PIF activity and attenuating other PIF-mediated responses such as warm temperature-induced hypocotyl elongation (thermomorphogenesis) and dark-induced senescence. By this mechanism and that of the already-known of phytochrome A photoreceptor, plants might ensure to properly adapt and thrive in habitats with disparate light amounts.
Keywords: Cardamine hirsuta; HFR1; PIFs; shade avoidance; shade tolerance.
© 2020 The Authors.