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Light-stimulated cotyledon expansion in Arabidopsis seedlings (the role of phytochrome b).

Neff M.M., Van Volkenburgh E.

Leaf and cotyledon expansion in dicotyledonous plants is a light-dependent developmental process. The unique role of phytochrome B has been tested by investigating expansion of cotyledons in wild-type and phytochrome-deficient mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. A relatively rapid method for measuring cotyledon area was developed to quantify growth in large populations (average n [greater than or equal to] 100) of wild-type or mutant seedlings under different light and chemical treatments. Three-day-old wild-type (La-er) Arabidopsis seedlings, grown in saturating, low-fluence red light (2-4 [mu]mol m-2 s-1), showed a >250% increase in cotyledon area after 48 h of bright-red light when compared with the phytochrome mutants hy1, hy2, and hy3. An increase in epidermal cell area was observed in wild-type cotyledons but not in hy3, indicating that light-stimulated growth is due in part to cell expansion. The mutant phenotype was rescued by feeding the chromophore precursor biliverdin to the chromophore biosynthesis mutants hy1 and hy6. This treatment did not rescue the hy3 mutant. Since the hy3 lesion is specific to phytochrome B, we conclude that this pigment is involved in the enhancement of cotyledon cell expansion in bright-red light.

Plant Physiol. 104:1027-1032(1994) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]