Phytochrome B Requires PIF Degradation and Sequestration to Induce Light Responses Across a Wide Range of Light Conditions
Authors and Affiliations
Phytochrome B (phyB) inhibits the function of phytochrome-interacting factors (PIFs) by inducing their degradation and sequestration, but the relative physiological importance of these two phyB activities is unclear. In an analysis of published Arabidopsis thaliana phyB mutations, we identified a point mutation in the N-terminal half of phyB (phyBG111D) that abolishes its PIF sequestration activity without affecting its PIF degradation activity. We also identified a point mutation in the phyB C-terminal domain, which, when combined with a deletion of the C-terminal end (phyB990G767R), does the opposite; it blocks PIF degradation without affecting PIF sequestration. The resulting phyB proteins, phyB990G767R and phyBG111D, are equally capable of inducing light responses under continuous red light. However, phyBG111D, which exhibits only the PIF degradation activity, induces stronger light responses than phyB990G767R under white light with prolonged dark periods (i.e., diurnal cycles). In contrast, phyB990G767R, which exhibits only the PIF sequestration activity, induces stronger light responses in flickering light (a condition that mimics sunflecks). Together, our results indicate that both of these separable phyB activities are required for light responses in varying light conditions.