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CONSTANS-LIKE 7 regulates branching and shade avoidance response in Arabidopsis.

  • Author(s): Wang, Honggui
  • Zhang, Zenglin
  • Li, Hongyu
  • Zhao, Xiaoying
  • Liu, Xuanming
  • Ortiz, Michael
  • Lin, Chentao
  • Liu, Bin
  • et al.

Branching is an important trait of plant development regulated by environmental signals. Phytochromes in Arabidopsis mediate branching in response to the changes in the red light:far-red light ratio (R:FR), the mechanisms of which are still elusive. Here it is shown that overexpression of CONSTANS-LIKE 7 (COL7) results in an abundant branching phenotype which could be efficiently suppressed by shade or a simulated shade environment (low R:FR). Moreover, col7 mutants develop shorter hypocotyls and COL7 overexpression lines develop longer hypocotyls in comparison with the wild type in low R:FR, indicating that COL7 acts as an enhancer of the shade avoidance response. In shade or transient low R:FR, transcriptional and post-transcriptional expression levels of COL7 are up-regulated and positively associated with rapid mRNA accumulation of PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 3-LIKE 1 (PIL1), a marker gene of shade avoidance syndrome (SAS). Taken together, the results suggest a dual role for COL7 which promotes branching in high R:FR conditions but enhances SAS in low R:FR conditions.

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