Light-sensing phytochromes feel the heat

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Science  18 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6314, pp. 832-833
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaj1918

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Plants expect light and warmth during the day and darkness and coolness at night. But dim, overcast days and unusually warm nights also occur. How is the perception of this variability integrated into more regular daily cycles? Phytochromes constitute a major class of plant photoreceptors that respond to brightness and color ratio. In so doing, they coordinate growth and development. Phytochromes are therefore a vital surveillance system that enables plants to adapt to a changing environment. Two reports in this issue, by Legris et al. (1) on page 897 and Jung et al. (2) on page 886, now implicate phytochrome B (phyB) in the thermal regulation of the light-sensing pathways.