Targeted knockout in Physcomitrella reveals direct actions of phytochrome in the cytoplasm.
ABSTRACT: The plant photoreceptor phytochrome plays an important role in the nucleus as a regulator of transcription. Numerous studies imply, however, that phytochromes in both higher and lower plants mediate physiological reactions within the cytoplasm. In particular, the tip cells of moss protonemal filaments use phytochrome to sense light direction, requiring a signaling system that transmits the directional information directly to the microfilaments that direct tip growth. In this work we describe four canonical phytochrome genes in the model moss species Physcomitrella patens, each of which was successfully targeted via homologous recombination and the distinct physiological functions of each gene product thereby identified. One homolog in particular mediates positive phototropism, polarotropism, and chloroplast movement in polarized light. This photoreceptor thus interacts with a cytoplasmic signal/response system. This is our first step in elucidating the cytoplasmic signaling function of phytochrome at the molecular level.
Project description:Phytochromes are the principle photoreceptors in light-regulated plant development, primarily acting via translocation of the light-activated photoreceptor into the nucleus and subsequent gene regulation. However, several independent lines of evidence indicate unambiguously that an additional cytoplasmic signaling mechanism must exist. Directional responses in filament tip cells of the moss Physcomitrella patens are steered by phy4 which has been shown to interact physically with the blue light receptor phototropin at the plasma membrane. This complex might perceive and transduce vectorial information leading to cytoskeleton reorganization and finally a directional growth response. We developed yeast two-hybrid procedures using photochemically functional, full-length phy4 as bait in Physcomitrella cDNA library screens and growth assays under different light conditions, revealing Pfr-dependent interactions possibly associated with phytochrome cytoplasmic signaling. Candidate proteins were then expressed in planta with fluorescent protein tags to determine their intracellular localization in darkness and red light. Of 14 candidates, 12 were confirmed to interact with phy4 in planta using bimolecular fluorescence complementation. We also used database information to study their expression patterns relative to those of phy4. We discuss the likely functional characteristics of these holophytochrome-interacting proteins (HIP's) and their possible roles in signaling.
Project description:The red/far-red light photoreceptor phytochrome mediates photomorphological responses in plants. For light sensing and signaling, phytochromes need to associate with open-chain tetrapyrrole molecules as the chromophore. Biosynthesis of tetrapyrrole chromophores requires members of ferredoxin-dependent bilin reductases (FDBRs). It was shown that LONG HYPOCOTYL 2 (HY2) is the only FDBR in flowering plants producing the phytochromobilin (P?B) for phytochromes. However, in the moss Physcomitrella patens, we found a second FDBR that catalyzes the formation of phycourobilin (PUB), a tetrapyrrole pigment usually found as the protein-bound form in cyanobacteria and red algae. Thus, we named the enzyme PUB synthase (PUBS). Severe photomorphogenic phenotypes, including the defect of phytochrome-mediated phototropism, were observed in Physcomitrella patens when both HY2 and PUBS were disrupted by gene targeting. This indicates HY2 and PUBS function redundantly in phytochrome-mediated responses of nonvascular plants. Our studies also show that functional PUBS orthologs are found in selected lycopod and chlorophyte genomes. Using mRNA sequencing for transcriptome profiling, we demonstrate that expression of the majority of red-light-responsive genes are misregulated in the pubs hy2 double mutant. These studies showed that moss phytochromes rapidly repress expression of genes involved in cell wall organization, transcription, hormone responses, and protein phosphorylation but activate genes involved in photosynthesis and stress signaling during deetiolation. We propose that, in nonvascular plants, HY2 and PUBS produce structurally different but functionally similar chromophore precursors for phytochromes. Holophytochromes regulate biological processes through light signaling to efficiently reprogram gene expression for vegetative growth in the light.
Project description:The red/far-red light photoreceptor phytochrome mediates photomorphological responses in plants. For light sensing and signaling, phytochromes need to associate with open-chain tetrapyrrole molecules as the chromophore. Biosynthesis of tetrapyrrole chromophores requires members of ferredoxin-dependent bilin reductases (FDBRs). There are two FDBRs in Physcomitrella patens, HY2 and PUBS. Knocking out both generates the phytochrome-deficient mutant. Datasets here provides the transcriptome profiling of Physcomitrella protonema grown in the dark and exposed to one hour red light. Wild type and the hy2 pubs double mutant were used to dissect the regulated genes of moss phytochromes. 4 samples, dark-grown wild-type and pubs hy2 protonema as time 0 control, followed by red light irradiation for one hour respectively
Project description:Phototropism allows plants to redirect their growth towards the light to optimize photosynthesis under reduced light conditions. Phototropin 1 (phot1) is the primary low blue light-sensing receptor triggering phototropism in Arabidopsis. Light-induced autophosphorylation of phot1, an AGC-class protein kinase, constitutes an essential step for phototropism. However, apart from the receptor itself, substrates of phot1 kinase activity are less clearly established. Phototropism is also influenced by the cryptochromes and phytochromes photoreceptors that do not provide directional information but influence the process through incompletely characterized mechanisms. Here, we show that Phytochrome Kinase Substrate 4 (PKS4), a known element of phot1 signalling, is a substrate of phot1 kinase activity in vitro that is phosphorylated in a phot1-dependent manner in vivo. PKS4 phosphorylation is transient and regulated by a type 2-protein phosphatase. Moreover, phytochromes repress the accumulation of the light-induced phosphorylated form of PKS4 showing a convergence of photoreceptor activity on this signalling element. Our physiological analyses suggest that PKS4 phosphorylation is not essential for phototropism but is part of a negative feedback mechanism.
Project description:Phototropism, or plant growth in response to unidirectional light, is an adaptive response of crucial importance. Lateral differences in low fluence rates of blue light are detected by phototropin 1 (phot1) in Arabidopsis. Only NONPHOTOTROPIC HYPOCOTYL 3 (NPH3) and root phototropism 2, both belonging to the same family of proteins, have been previously identified as phototropin-interacting signal transducers involved in phototropism. PHYTOCHROME KINASE SUBSTRATE (PKS) 1 and PKS2 are two phytochrome signaling components belonging to a small gene family in Arabidopsis (PKS1-PKS4). The strong enhancement of PKS1 expression by blue light and its light induction in the elongation zone of the hypocotyl prompted us to study the function of this gene family during phototropism. Photobiological experiments show that the PKS proteins are critical for hypocotyl phototropism. Furthermore, PKS1 interacts with phot1 and NPH3 in vivo at the plasma membrane and in vitro, indicating that the PKS proteins may function directly with phot1 and NPH3 to mediate phototropism. The phytochromes are known to influence phototropism but the mechanism involved is still unclear. We show that PKS1 induction by a pulse of blue light is phytochrome A-dependent, suggesting that the PKS proteins may provide a molecular link between these two photoreceptor families.
Project description:In plant photomorphogenesis, it is well accepted that the perception of red/far-red and blue light is mediated by distinct photoreceptor families, i.e., the phytochromes and blue-light photoreceptors, respectively. Here we describe the discovery of a photoreceptor gene from the fern Adiantum that encodes a protein with features of both phytochrome and NPH1, the putative blue-light receptor for second-positive phototropism in seed plants. The fusion of a functional photosensory domain of phytochrome with a nearly full-length NPH1 homolog suggests that this polypeptide could mediate both red/far-red and blue-light responses in Adiantum normally ascribed to distinct photoreceptors.
Project description:The red/far-red light photoreceptor phytochrome mediates photomorphological responses in plants. For light sensing and signaling, phytochromes need to associate with open-chain tetrapyrrole molecules as the chromophore. Biosynthesis of tetrapyrrole chromophores requires members of ferredoxin-dependent bilin reductases (FDBRs). There are two FDBRs in Physcomitrella patens, HY2 and PUBS. Knocking out both generates the phytochrome-deficient mutant. Datasets here provides the transcriptome profiling of Physcomitrella protonema grown in the dark and exposed to one hour red light. Wild type and the hy2 pubs double mutant were used to dissect the regulated genes of moss phytochromes. For details, please see PMID: .
Project description:Phytochromes are red/far-red photochromic photoreceptors central to regulating plant development. Although they are known to enter the nucleus upon light activation and, once there, regulate transcription, this is not the complete picture. Various phytochrome effects are manifested much too rapidly to derive from changes in gene expression, whereas others seem to occur without phytochrome entering the nucleus. Phytochromes also guide directional responses to light, excluding a genetic signaling route and implying instead plasma membrane association and a direct cytoplasmic signal. However, to date, no such association has been demonstrated. Here we report that a phytochrome subpopulation indeed associates physically with another photoreceptor, phototropin, at the plasma membrane. Yeast two-hybrid methods using functional photoreceptor molecules showed that the phytochrome steering growth direction in Physcomitrella protonemata binds several phototropins specifically in the photoactivated Pfr state. Split-YFP studies in planta showed that the interaction occurs exclusively at the plasma membrane. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments provided independent confirmation of in vivo phy-phot binding. Consistent with this interaction being associated with a cellular signal, we found that phytochrome-mediated tropic responses are impaired in Physcomitrella phot(-) mutants. Split-YFP revealed a similar interaction between Arabidopsis phytochrome A and phototropin 1 at the plasma membrane. These associations additionally provide a functional explanation for the evolution of neochrome photoreceptors. Our results imply that the elusive phytochrome cytoplasmic signal arises through binding and coaction with phototropin at the plasma membrane.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>In the last decade, the moss Physcomitrella patens has emerged as a powerful plant model system, amenable for genetic manipulations not possible in any other plant. This moss is particularly well suited for plant polarized cell growth studies, as in its protonemal phase, expansion is restricted to the tip of its cells. Based on pollen tube and root hair studies, it is well known that tip growth requires active secretion and high polarization of the cellular components. However, such information is still missing in Physcomitrella patens. To gain insight into the mechanisms underlying the participation of organelle organization in tip growth, it is essential to determine the distribution and the dynamics of the organelles in moss cells.<h4>Results</h4>We used fluorescent protein fusions to visualize and track Golgi dictyosomes, mitochondria, and peroxisomes in live protonemal cells. We also visualized and tracked chloroplasts based on chlorophyll auto-fluorescence. We showed that in protonemata all four organelles are distributed in a gradient from the tip of the apical cell to the base of the sub-apical cell. For example, the density of Golgi dictyosomes is 4.7 and 3.4 times higher at the tip than at the base in caulonemata and chloronemata respectively. While Golgi stacks are concentrated at the extreme tip of the caulonemata, chloroplasts and peroxisomes are totally excluded. Interestingly, caulonemata, which grow faster than chloronemata, also contain significantly more Golgi dictyosomes and fewer chloroplasts than chloronemata. Moreover, the motility analysis revealed that organelles in protonemata move with low persistency and average instantaneous speeds ranging from 29 to 75?nm/s, which are at least three orders of magnitude slower than those of pollen tube or root hair organelles.<h4>Conclusions</h4>To our knowledge, this study reports the first quantitative analysis of organelles in Physcomitrella patens and will make possible comparisons of the distribution and dynamics of organelles from different tip growing plant cells, thus enhancing our understanding of the mechanisms of plant polarized cell growth.
Project description:Phytochromes are photochromic photoreceptors with a bilin chromophore that are found in plants and bacteria. The soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens contains two genes that code for phytochrome-homologous proteins, termed Agrobacterium phytochrome 1 and 2 (Agp1 and Agp2). To analyze its biochemical and spectral properties, Agp1 was purified from the clone of an E. coli overexpressor. The protein was assembled with the chromophores phycocyanobilin and biliverdin, which is the putative natural chromophore, to photoactive holoprotein species. Like other bacterial phytochromes, Agp1 acts as light-regulated His kinase. The biliverdin adduct of Agp1 represents a previously uncharacterized type of phytochrome photoreceptor, because photoreversion from the far-red absorbing form to the red-absorbing form is very inefficient, a feature that is combined with a rapid dark reversion. Biliverdin bound covalently to the protein; blocking experiments and site-directed mutagenesis identified a Cys at position 20 as the binding site. This particular position is outside the region where plant and some cyanobacterial phytochromes attach their chromophore and thus represents a previously uncharacterized binding site. Sequence comparisons imply that the region around Cys-20 is a ring D binding motif in phytochromes.