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Stem extension-growth responses to blue light require Pfr in tomato seedlings but are not reduced by the low phytochrome levels of the aurea mutant


  • This paper is part of the contributions to the European Symposium Photomorphogenesis in Plants, held in Tirrenia, Pisa, Italy, 11-15 July, 1993.


The effects of blue light (B) on stem extension growth were investigated in wild-type (WT) and aurea (au) mutant seedlings of tomato. The au mutant has reduced phytochrome levels. Etiolated seedlings were grown under background red light (R) or far-red light (FR) with or without B. Hypocotyl growth was inhibited by B added to R but not by B added to FR, both in WT and au seedlings. The levels of B and/or R reaching the stem of fully de-etiolated seedlings grown in a glasshouse were reduced by means of collars around it. Both in WT and au-mutant seedlings the responses to B were larger at high than at low R/FR quantum ratios. In etiolated and light-grown au seedlings, changing the levels of phytochrome-absorbable radiation did not cause the same effect as changing B levels, indicating the action of specific BL/UV-A photoreceptor(s) (BAP). The responses to B are reduced by the low calculated levels of Pfr established by light treatments but not by the low levels of phytochrome present in the au mutant. The au mutant appears to be deficient in a phytochrome pool that is not essential for the interdependent co-action observed between phytochrome and BAP in the control of stem extension growth in tomato.