PIF1 promotes phytochrome-regulated growth under photoperiodic conditions in Arabidopsis together with PIF3, PIF4, and PIF5

Judit Soy, Pablo Leivar, Elena Monte
Journal of Experimental Botany 2014, 65 (11): 2925-36
Seedlings growing under diurnal conditions display maximal growth at the end of the night in short-day (SD) photoperiods. Current evidence indicates that this behaviour involves the action of PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 3 (PIF3) together with PIF4 and PIF5, through direct regulation of growth-related genes at dawn coinciding with a PIF3 accumulation peak generated by phytochrome-imposed oscillations in protein abundance. Here, to assess how alterations in PIF3 levels impact seedling growth, the night-specific accumulation of PIF3 was modulated by releasing SD-grown seedlings into continuous light, or by exposing them to a phytochrome-inactivating end-of-day far-red pulse (EOD-FRp). The data show a strong direct correlation between PIF3 accumulation, PIF3-regulated induction of growth-related genes, and hypocotyl elongation, and suggest that growth promotion in SD conditions involves factors other than PIF3, PIF4, and PIF5. Using a pif1 mutant, evidence is provided that PIF1 also contributes to inducing hypocotyl elongation during the dark period under diurnal conditions. PIF1 displayed constitutive transcript levels in SD conditions, suggesting that phytochrome-imposed oscillations in PIF1 protein abundance determine its accumulation and action during the night, similar to PIF3 and in contrast to PIF4 and PIF5, which oscillate diurnally due to a combination of circadian clock-regulated transcription and light control of protein accumulation. Furthermore, using single and higher order pif mutants, the relative contribution of each member of the PIF quartet to the regulation of morphogenesis and the expression of selected growth marker genes under SD conditions, or under SD conditions supplemented with an EOD-FRp, is defined. Collectively, the data indicate that PIF1, PIF3, PIF4, and PIF5 act together to promote and optimize growth under photoperiodic conditions.


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