Plant Science

Moving to Different Rhythms

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Science  23 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5585, pp. 1239
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5585.1239b

Plants use light receptors, including the phytochrome family that detects red and far-red light, to monitor ambient conditions. The five phytochrome types in Arabidopsis cover a range of wavelengths and intensities and trigger diverse developmental responses, such as germination, adjustments to shade, and flowering time. As part of the signaling process, phytochromes translocate from the cytoplasm into the nucleus. Kircher et al. have analyzed the nuclear import of each of the five phytochromes and found differential translocation as a function of light condition and developmental stage. Mutated versions of phytochromes A and B known to be defective in signaling were competent for nuclear import but failed to form the characteristic nuclear speckles that wild-type phytochromes do. A tantalizing hint at the possible function of these nuclear bodies comes from the apparent diurnal regulation of phytochrome-containing speckle formation. — PJH

PlantCell14, 1541 (2002)

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