Redundant roles of photoreceptors and cytokinins in regulating photosynthetic acclimation to canopy density
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Journal of experimental botany. - Oxford
, p. 1179-1190
University of Antwerp
The regulation of photosynthetic acclimation to canopy density was investigated in tobacco canopies and in tobacco and Arabidopsis plants with part of their foliage experimentally shaded. Both species acclimated to canopy light gradients and partial shading by allocating photosynthetic capacity to leaves in high light and adjusting chloroplast organization to the local light conditions. An investigation was carried out to determine whether signalling mediated by photoreceptors, sugars, cytokinin, and nitrate is involved in and necessary for proper photosynthetic acclimation. No evidence was found for a role for sugars, or for nitrate. The distribution of cytokinins in tobacco stands of contrasting density could be explained in part by irradiance-dependent delivery of cytokinins through the transpiration stream. Functional studies using a comprehensive selection of Arabidopsis mutants and transgenics showed that normal wild-type responses to partial shading were retained when signalling mediated by photoreceptors or cytokinins was disrupted. This indicates that these pathways probably operate in a redundant manner. However, the reduction of the chlorophyll a/b ratio in response to local shade was completely absent in the Arabidopsis Ws-2 accession mutated in PHYTOCHROME D and in the triple phyAphyCphyD mutant. Moreover, cytokinin receptor mutants also showed a reduced response, suggesting a previously unrecognized function of phyD and cytokinins.