Interactions between ethylene and gibberellins in phytochrome-mediated shade avoidance responses in tobacco.
SourcePlant Physiology, 136, 2, (2004), pp. 2928-2936
Article / Letter to editor
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Experimental Plant Ecology
Aquatic Ecology and Environmental Biology
SubjectAquatic Ecology; Plant Ecology
Plants respond to proximate neighbors with a suite of responses that comprise the shade avoidance syndrome. These phytochrome-mediated responses include hyponasty (i.e. a more vertical orientation of leaves) and enhanced stem and petiole elongation. We showed recently that ethylene-insensitive tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants (Tetr) have reduced responses to neighbors, showing an important role for this gaseous plant hormone in shade avoidance. Here, we investigate interactions between phytochrome signaling and ethylene action in shade avoidance responses. Furthermore, we investigate if ethylene acts in these responses through an interaction with the GA class of hormones. Low red to far-red light ratios (R:FR) enhanced ethylene production in wild-type tobacco, resulting in shade avoidance responses, whereas ethylene-insensitive plants showed reduced shade avoidance responses. Plants with inhibited GA production showed hardly any shade avoidance responses at all to either a low R:FR or increased ethylene concentrations. Furthermore, low R:FR enhanced the responsiveness of hyponasty and stem elongation in both wild-type and Tetr plants to applied GA(3), with the stem elongation process being more responsive to GA(3) in the wild type than in Tetr. We conclude that phytochrome-mediated shade avoidance responses involve ethylene action, at least partly by modulating GA action.
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