Ion channels and the transduction of light signals


Correspondence: E. P.Spalding. Fax: 608 2627509; E-mail:


Studies of biological light-sensing mechanisms are revealing important roles for ion channels. Photosensory transduction in plants is no exception. In this article, the evidence that ion channels perform such signal-transducing functions in the complex array of mechanisms that bring about plant photomorphogenesis will be reviewed and discussed. The examples selected for discussion range from light-gradient detection in unicellular algae to the photocontrol of stem growth in Arabidopsis. Also included is some discussion of the technical aspects of studies that combine electrophysiology and photobiology.