Abstract. A proposal has recently been made (Johnson & Tasker, 1979) that phytochrome acts through the multiplicative effect of two components of the phytochrome system, only one of them being Pfr and the other a product of the photoconversion reaction Pr→Pfr. It has been shown previously that HIR action spectra based on this assumption show a good resemblance to the observed responses with the possible exception of the red region of the spectrum. There, a greater response is predicted than is often observed and fluence rate dependency is predicted, on which matter there is disagreement in the literature.
The experiments reported here show that, because chlorophyll is formed in red light but not in far-red, chlorophyll screening lowers the effective fluence rate in red light with respect to phytochrome. When such screening is eliminated the observed responses show strong fluence rate dependency, as predicted. Evidence is also presented to support the conclusion that the two proposed effectors must act together multiplicatively.