Photosynthetic photon flux density and phytochrome B interact to regulate branching in Arabidopsis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Branching is regulated by environmental signals including phytochrome B (phyB)-mediated responses to the ratio of red to far red light. While the mechanisms associated with phytochrome regulation of branching are beginning to be elucidated, there is little information regarding other light signals, including photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) and how it influences phytochrome-mediated responses. This study shows that Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) branching is modified by both varying PPFD and phyB status and that significant interactions occur between these variables. While phyB deficiency decreased branching when the PPFD was low, the effect was suppressed by high PPFD and some branching aspects were actually promoted. Photosynthesis measurements showed that PPFD may influence branching in phyB-deficient plants at least partially through a specific signalling pathway rather than directly through energy effects on the shoot. The expression of various genes in unelongated buds of phyB-deficient and phyB-sufficient plants grown under high and low PPFD demonstrated potential roles for several hormones, including auxin, cytokinins and ABA, and also showed imperfect correlation between expression of the branching regulators BRC1 and BRC2 and bud fate. These results may implicate additional undiscovered bud autonomous mechanisms and/or components contributing to bud outgrowth regulation by environmental signals.

published proceedings

  • Plant Cell Environ

author list (cited authors)

  • Su, H., Abernathy, S. D., White, R. H., & Finlayson, S. A.

citation count

  • 33

complete list of authors

  • Su, Hongwen||Abernathy, Scott D||White, Richard H||Finlayson, Scott A

publication date

  • November 2011