Light-induced nuclear import of phytochrome-A:GFP fusion proteins is differentially regulated in transgenic tobacco and Arabidopsis


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Dedicated to Professor H. Mohr on the occasion of his 70th birthday.


Phytochromes (phy) are a family of photoreceptors that control various aspects of light-dependent plant development. Phytochrome A (phyA) is responsible for the very low fluence response (VLFR) under inductive light conditions and for the high irradiance response (HIR) under continuous far-red light. We have recently shown that nuclear import of rice phyA:GFP is regulated by VLFR in transgenic tobacco. The import is preceded by very fast, light-induced formation of sequestered areas of phyA:GFP in the cytosol. Here we report that expression of the Arabidopsis phyA:GFP fusion protein in phyA-deficient Arabidopsis plants complements the mutant phenotype. In these transgenic Arabidopsis lines, both light-dependent cytosolic formation of sequestered areas of the phyA:GFP as well as VLFR or HIR-mediated nuclear import of the fusion protein was observed. By contrast, light-dependent nuclear import of the same fusion protein was induced only by continuous far-red light (HIR) but not by pulses of far-red light (VLFR) in transgenic tobacco. These results demonstrate that photoregulation of intracellular partitioning of the Arabidopsis phyA:GFP differs significantly in different genetic backgrounds.