The phytochromes are a family of plant photoreceptor proteins that control several adaptive developmental strategies. For example, the phytochromes perceive far-red light (wavelengths between 700 and 800 nm) reflected or scattered from the leaves of nearby vegetation. This provides an early warning of potential shading, and triggers a series of… (More)
Exposure of Arabidopsis plants to high temperature (28 degrees C) results in a dramatic change in plant development. Responses to high temperature include rapid extension of plant axes, leaf hyponasty, and early flowering. These phenotypes parallel plant responses to the threat of vegetational shade and have been shown to involve the hormone auxin. In this… (More)
the narrow sense. While the concept of qualia is elusive, its neurobiological basis can be investigated with the empirical neuroscientific approach. For example, with a rewiring experiment such as the one described above we may be able to uncover patterns of neuronal connectivity that are associated with visual and auditory qualia. Once anatomical motifs… (More)
The analysis of Arabidopsis mutants deficient in the A, B, D, and E phytochromes has revealed that each of these phytochrome isoforms has both distinct and overlapping roles throughout plant photomorphogenesis. Although overexpression studies of phytochrome C (phyC) have suggested photomorphogenic roles for this receptor, conclusive evidence of function has… (More)
Stomata are pores on the surfaces of leaves that regulate gas exchange between the plant interior and the atmosphere . Plants adapt to changing environmental conditions in the short term by adjusting the aperture of the stomatal pores, whereas longer-term changes are accomplished by altering the proportion of stomata that develop on the leaf surface [2,… (More)
Plants have evolved highly complex sensory mechanisms to monitor their surroundings and adapt their growth and development to the prevailing environmental conditions. The integration of information from multiple environmental cues enables the co-ordination of development with favourable seasonal conditions and, ultimately, determines plant form. Light… (More)
Temperature is a key environmental signal regulating plant development, but the mechanisms by which plants sense small changes in ambient temperature have remained elusive. Kumar and Wigge (2010) now reveal that eviction of the histone variant H2A.Z from nucleosomes performs a central role in plant thermosensory perception.
We investigated the signalling pathways that regulate chloroplast transcription in response to environmental signals. One mechanism controlling plastid transcription involves nuclear-encoded sigma subunits of plastid-encoded plastid RNA polymerase. Transcripts encoding the sigma factor SIG5 are regulated by light and the circadian clock. However, the extent… (More)
Small increases in ambient temperature can elicit striking effects on plant architecture, collectively termed thermomorphogenesis . In Arabidopsis thaliana, these include marked stem elongation and leaf elevation, responses that have been predicted to enhance leaf cooling [2-5]. Thermomorphogenesis requires increased auxin biosynthesis, mediated by the… (More)
Plants integrate multiple environmental signals to detect and avoid shading from neighbouring vegetation. Two new studies highlight the importance of blue light in the regulation of stem elongation and bending during shade escape.