The blue-light receptor cryptochrome 1 shows functional dependence on phytochrome A or phytochrome B in Arabidopsis thaliana


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Blue-light responses in higher plants are mediated by specific photoreceptors, which are thought to be flavoproteins; one such flavin-type blue-light receptor, CRY1 (for cryptochrome), which mediates inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and anthocyanin biosynthesis, has recently been characterized. Prompted by classical photobiological studies suggesting possible co-action of the red/far-red absorbing photoreceptor phytochrome with blue-light photoreceptors in certain plant species, the role of phytochrome in CRY1 action in Arabidopsis was investigated. The activity of the CRY1 photoreceptor can be substantially altered by manipulating the levels of active phytochrome (Pfr) with red or far-red light pulses subsequent to blue-light treatments. Furthermore, analysis of severely phytochrome-deficient mutants showed that CRY1-mediated blue-light responses were considerably reduced, even though Western blots confirmed that levels of CRY1 photoreceptor are unaffected in these phytochrome-deficient mutant backgrounds. It was concluded that CRY1-mediated inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and anthocyanin production requires active phytochrome for full expression, and that this requirement can be supplied by low levels of either phyA or phyB.