An Integrative Model for Phytochrome B Mediated Photomorphogenesis: From Protein Dynamics to PhysiologyReport as inadecuate

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Plants have evolved various sophisticated mechanisms to respond and adapt to changes of abiotic factors in their natural environment. Light is one of the most important abiotic environmental factors and it regulates plant growth and development throughout their entire life cycle. To monitor the intensity and spectral composition of the ambient light environment, plants have evolved multiple photoreceptors, including the red-far-red light-sensing phytochromes.

Methodology-Principal Findings

We have developed an integrative mathematical model that describes how phytochrome B phyB, an essential receptor in Arabidopsis thaliana, controls growth. Our model is based on a multiscale approach and connects the mesoscopic intracellular phyB protein dynamics to the macroscopic growth phenotype. To establish reliable and relevant parameters for the model phyB regulated growth we measured: accumulation and degradation, dark reversion kinetics and the dynamic behavior of different nuclear phyB pools using in vivo spectroscopy, western blotting and Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching FRAP technique, respectively.


The newly developed model predicts that the phyB-containing nuclear bodies NBs i serve as storage sites for phyB and ii control prolonged dark reversion kinetics as well as partial reversibility of phyB Pfr in extended darkness. The predictive power of this mathematical model is further validated by the fact that we are able to formalize a basic photobiological observation, namely that in light-grown seedlings hypocotyl length depends on the total amount of phyB. In addition, we demonstrate that our theoretical predictions are in excellent agreement with quantitative data concerning phyB levels and the corresponding hypocotyl lengths. Hence, we conclude that the integrative model suggested in this study captures the main features of phyB-mediated photomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis.

Author: Julia Rausenberger , Andrea Hussong , Stefan Kircher, Daniel Kirchenbauer, Jens Timmer, Ferenc Nagy, Eberhard Schäfer , Christia



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