The photosynthetic acclimation of extremophile Eutrema salsugineum plants to red light (RL) (14 days, 150 μmol photons m-2 s-1, 660 nm) and the expression of the key photoreceptor apoprotein genes, transcription factors (TFs) and associated with phytochrome system MIR (microRNA) genes were studied. RL exposure induced an increase in the content of anthocyanin and total phenolic compounds and the level of Chls was decreased. The photosystem 2 electron transport rate and the number of open reaction centres (qL) were not changed in RL plants, however, the levels of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) and the regulated quantum yield of non-photochemical quenching Y(NPQ) were significantly higher in the RL plants. The rate of CO2 uptake was decreased by almost 1.4-fold but the respiration and transpiration rates, as well as the stomatal conductance were not changed in the RL plants. An increase in the expression of the photoreceptor apoprotein genes PHYA, PHYB and PHYC, the TF genes PIF4, PIF5 and miR395, miR408, miR165 and decreases in the levels of the transcripts of the TF gene HY5 and miR171, miR157, and miR827 were detected. The acclimation effect of photosynthetic apparatus to RL was accompanied by an increase of pigment content such as total phenolic compounds and carotenoids and it is due to the changes in the expression of the apoprotein phytochrome genes PHYA, PHYB, PHYC and phytochrome signalling TFs (PIF4, PIF5 and HY5) as well as MIR genes associated with phytochrome system.
Keywords: Light signalling; Phytochrome; Red light; Transcription factors; microRNA.
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