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Changes in Photoperiod or Temperature Alter the Functional Relationships between Phytochromes and Reveal Roles for phyD and phyE

Karen J. Halliday and Garry C. Whitelam
Plant Physiology
Vol. 131, No. 4 (Apr., 2003), pp. 1913-1920
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4281060
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Changes in Photoperiod or Temperature Alter the Functional Relationships between Phytochromes and Reveal Roles for phyD and phyE
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Abstract

The phytochromes are one of the means via which plants obtain information about their immediate environment and the changing seasons. Phytochromes have important roles in developmental events such as the switch to flowering, the timing of which can be crucial for the reproductive success of the plant. Analysis of phyB mutants has revealed that phyB plays a major role in this process. We have recently shown, however, that the flowering phenotype of the phyB monogenic mutant is temperature dependent. A modest reduction in temperature to 16°C was sufficient to abolish the phyB mutant early-flowering phenotype present at 22°C. Using mutants null for one or more phytochrome species, we have now shown that phyA, phyD, and phyE, play greater roles with respect to phyB in the control of flowering under cooler conditions. This change in the relative contributions of individual phytochromes appears to be important for maintaining control of flowering in response to modest alterations in ambient temperature. We demonstrate that changes in ambient temperature or photoperiod can alter the hierarchy and/or the functional relationships between phytochrome species. These experiments reveal new roles for phyD and phyE and provide valuable insights into how the phytochromes help to maintain development in the natural environment.

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