Photoreceptors of the phytochrome family control a multitude of responses in plants. Phytochrome A (phyA) is essential for far-red light perception, which is important for germination and seedling establishment in strong canopy shade. Translocation of phyA from the cytosol into nucleus is a key step in far-red light signaling and requires FAR-RED ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL 1 (FHY1) and FHY1-LIKE (FHL). FHY1/FHL bind to phyA downstream signaling components. Therefore, it has been suggested that FHY1/FHL also have a function in assembling phyA transcription factor complexes in the nucleus. Yet, in this study, we show that constitutively nuclear-localized phyA is active in the absence of FHY1 and FHL. Furthermore, an artificial FHY1, consisting of an SV40 NLS, a phyA binding site, and a YFP tag as spacer between them, complements the fhy1-3 fhl-1 double mutant. These findings show that FHY1 and FHL are not required for phyA downstream signaling in the nucleus. However, we found that lines expressing phyA-NLS-YFP are hypersensitive to red and far-red light and that slightly increased levels of constitutively nuclear-localized phyA result in photomorphogenic development in the dark. Thus, restricting phyA to the cytosol and inducing nuclear transport in light by interaction with FHY1/FHL might be important to suppress photomorphogenesis in the dark.
Keywords: FHL; FHY1; far-red light; nuclear transport; phyA; phytochrome.
© 2019 The Author(s).