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Greening of cotyledons during de-etiolation is critical for harvesting light energy and sustaining plant growth. PIF3 and HY5 antagonistically regulate protochlorophyllide synthesis in the dark. However, the mechanism by which the PIF3/HY5 module regulates genes involved in protochlorophyllide synthesis is not clear. Using genetic, molecular and biochemical techniques we identified that the B-BOX protein BBX11 acts directly downstream of PIF3 and HY5 to transcriptionally modulate genes involved in protochlorophyllide synthesis. Dark-grown bbx11 and 35S:BBX11 seedlings exhibit an enhanced and reduced ability to green, respectively, when exposed to light. Transcript levels of HEMA1 and CHLH are upregulated in 35S:BBX11 seedlings that accumulate high levels of protochlorophyllide in the dark and undergo photobleaching upon illumination. PIF3 inhibits BBX11 in the dark by directly binding to its promoter. bbx11 suppresses the cotyledon greening defect of pif3 after prolonged dark, indicating that the PIF3-mediated regulation of greening is dependent on BBX11. The enhanced greening of hy5 is also suppressed in hy5 lines overexpressing BBX11. In light, HY5 directly binds to the promoter of BBX11 and activates its expression to regulate BBX11-mediated hypocotyl inhibition. We show that a PIF3/HY5 module regulates BBX11 expression in opposite ways to optimise protochlorophyllide accumulation in the dark and promote photomorphogenesis in light. © 2020 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2020 New Phytologist Foundation.


Nikhil Job, Sourav Datta. PIF3/HY5 module regulates BBX11 to suppress protochlorophyllide levels in dark and promote photomorphogenesis in light. The New phytologist. 2021 Apr;230(1):190-204

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PMID: 33330975

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