The phytochrome interacting proteins ERF55 and ERF58 repress light-induced seed germination in Arabidopsis thaliana

Nat Commun. 2022 Mar 29;13(1):1656. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-29315-3.


Seed germination is a critical step in the life cycle of plants controlled by the phytohormones abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellin (GA), and by phytochromes, an important class of photoreceptors in plants. Here we show that light-dependent germination is enhanced in mutants deficient in the AP2/ERF transcription factors ERF55 and ERF58. Light-activated phytochromes repress ERF55/ERF58 expression and directly bind ERF55/ERF58 to displace them from the promoter of PIF1 and SOM, genes encoding transcriptional regulators that prevent the completion of germination. The same mechanism controls the expression of genes that encode ABA or GA metabolic enzymes to decrease levels of ABA and possibly increase levels of GA. Interestingly, ERF55 and ERF58 are themselves under transcriptional control of ABA and GA, suggesting that they are part of a self-reinforcing signalling loop which controls the completion of germination. Overall, we identified a role of ERF55/ERF58 in phytochrome-mediated regulation of germination completion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins* / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis* / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Germination / genetics
  • Gibberellins / metabolism
  • Light
  • Phytochrome* / genetics
  • Phytochrome* / metabolism
  • Seeds / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Gibberellins
  • Phytochrome
  • Abscisic Acid