Green light adjusts the plastid transcriptome during early photomorphogenic development. Academic Article uri icon


  • During the transition from darkness to light, a suite of light sensors guides gene expression, biochemistry, and morphology to optimize acclimation to the new environment. Ultraviolet, blue, red, and far-red light all have demonstrated roles in modulating light responses, such as changes in gene expression and suppression of stem growth rate. However, green wavebands induce stem growth elongation, a response not likely mediated by known photosensors. In this study, etiolated Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) seedlings were treated with a short, dim, single pulse of green light comparable in fluence and duration to that previously shown to excite robust stem elongation. Genome microarrays were then used to monitor coincident changes in gene expression. As anticipated, phytochrome A-regulated, nuclear-encoded transcripts were induced, confirming proper function of the sensitive phytochrome system. In addition, a suite of plastid-encoded transcripts decreased in abundance, including several typically up-regulated after phytochrome and/or cryptochrome activation. Further analyses using RNA gel-blot experiments demonstrated that the response is specific to green light, fluence dependent, and detectable within 30 min. The response obeys reciprocity and persists in the absence of known photosensors. Plastid transcript down-regulation was also observed in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) with similar temporal and fluence-response kinetics. Together, the down-regulation of plastid transcripts and increase in stem growth rate represent a mechanism that tempers progression of early commitment to the light environment, helping tailor seedling development during the critical process of establishment.

published proceedings

  • Plant Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Dhingra, A., Bies, D. H., Lehner, K. R., & Folta, K. M.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Dhingra, Amit||Bies, Dawn H||Lehner, Kevin R||Folta, Kevin M

publication date

  • January 2006