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Engineering the phototropin photocycle improves photoreceptor performance and plant biomass production.


ABSTRACT: The ability to enhance photosynthetic capacity remains a recognized bottleneck to improving plant productivity. Phototropin blue light receptors (phot1 and phot2) optimize photosynthetic efficiency in Arabidopsis thaliana by coordinating multiple light-capturing processes. In this study, we explore the potential of using protein engineering to improve photoreceptor performance and thereby plant growth. We demonstrate that targeted mutagenesis can decrease or increase the photocycle lifetime of Arabidopsis phototropins in vitro and show that these variants can be used to reduce or extend the duration of photoreceptor activation in planta Our findings show that slowing the phototropin photocycle enhanced several light-capturing responses, while accelerating it reduced phototropin's sensitivity for chloroplast accumulation movement. Moreover, plants engineered to have a slow-photocycling variant of phot1 or phot2 displayed increased biomass production under low-light conditions as a consequence of their improved sensitivity. Together, these findings demonstrate the feasibility of engineering photoreceptors to manipulate plant growth and offer additional opportunities to enhance photosynthetic competence, particularly under suboptimal light regimes.

SUBMITTER: Hart JE 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6589663 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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