Overexpression of homologous phytochrome genes in tomato: exploring the limits in photoperception

S.H. Husaineid, R.A. Kok, M.E.L. Schreuder, L.H.W. van der Plas, A.R. van der Krol

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Transgenic tomato [Lycopersicon esculentum (=Solanum lycopersicum)] lines overexpressing tomato PHYA, PHYB1, or PHYB2, under control of the constitutive double-35S promoter from cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) have been generated to test the level of saturation in individual phytochrome-signalling pathways in tomato. Western blot analysis confirmed the elevated phytochrome protein levels in dark-grown seedlings of the respective PHY overexpressing (PHYOE) lines. Exposure to 4 h of red light resulted in a decrease in phytochrome A protein level in the PHYAOE lines, indicating that the chromophore availability is not limiting for assembly into holoprotein and that the excess of phytochrome A protein is also targeted for light-regulated destruction. The elongation and anthocyanin accumulation responses of plants grown under white light, red light, far-red light, and end-of-day far-red light were used for characterization of selected PHYOE lines. In addition, the anthocyanin accumulation response to different fluence rates of red light of 4-d-old dark-grown seedlings was studied. The elevated levels of phyA in the PHYAOE lines had little effect on seedling and adult plant phenotype. Both PHYAOE in the phyA mutant background and PHYB2OE in the double-mutant background rescued the mutant phenotype, proving that expression of the transgene results in biologically active phytochrome. The PHYB1OE lines showed mild effects on the inhibition of stem elongation and anthocyanin accumulation and little or no effect on the red light high irradiance response. By contrast, the PHYB2OE lines showed a strong inhibition of elongation, enhancement of anthocyanin accumulation, and a strong amplification of the red light high irradiance response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-626
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • dominant-negative suppression
  • a-deficient mutants
  • transgenic tobacco
  • hypocotyl elongation
  • arabidopsis-thaliana
  • expression patterns
  • oat phytochrome
  • potato
  • plants
  • cdna


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