Light Intensity- and Spectrum-Dependent Redox Regulation of Plant Metabolism

Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Jun 30;11(7):1311. doi: 10.3390/antiox11071311.


Both light intensity and spectrum (280-800 nm) affect photosynthesis and, consequently, the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during photosynthetic electron transport. ROS, together with antioxidants, determine the redox environment in tissues and cells, which in turn has a major role in the adjustment of metabolism to changes in environmental conditions. This process is very important since there are great spatial (latitude, altitude) and temporal (daily, seasonal) changes in light conditions which are accompanied by fluctuations in temperature, water supply, and biotic stresses. The blue and red spectral regimens are decisive in the regulation of metabolism because of the absorption maximums of chlorophylls and the sensitivity of photoreceptors. Based on recent publications, photoreceptor-controlled transcription factors such as ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL5 (HY5) and changes in the cellular redox environment may have a major role in the coordinated fine-tuning of metabolic processes during changes in light conditions. This review gives an overview of the current knowledge of the light-associated redox control of basic metabolic pathways (carbon, nitrogen, amino acid, sulphur, lipid, and nucleic acid metabolism), secondary metabolism (terpenoids, flavonoids, and alkaloids), and related molecular mechanisms. Light condition-related reprogramming of metabolism is the basis for proper growth and development of plants; therefore, its better understanding can contribute to more efficient crop production in the future.

Keywords: antioxidants; blue light; carbon assimilation; elongated hypocotyl5; far-red light; light intensity; lipid metabolism; nitrogen assimilation; photoreceptors; reactive oxygen species; red light; secondary metabolism; sulphur assimilation.

Publication types

  • Review