Journal Article

Cytokinins Induce Photomorphogenic Development in Dark-grown Gametophytes of <i>Ceratopteris richardii</i>

Mark D. Spiro, Behzad Torabi and Catharine N. Cornell

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 45, issue 9, pages 1252-1260
Published in print September 2004 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online September 2004 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Cytokinins Induce Photomorphogenic Development in Dark-grown Gametophytes of Ceratopteris richardii

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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The cytokinins benzylaminopurine, kinetin and isopentenyladenine induce photomorphogenesis in dark-grown gametophytes of the fern Ceratopteris richardii. At sub-nanomolar concentrations each altered the rate and pattern of cell division, elongation and differentiation, mimicking aspects of the light-mediated transition from filamentous to prothallial growth. Untreated dark-grown gametophytes grow as narrow, elongate, asexual filaments with an apical meristem. Cytokinin treatments as low as 10–12 M reduced the length-to-width ratio through decreased cell elongation, increased periclinal cell division and induced the formation of rhizoid initials in the cells immediately below the apical meristem. Higher concentrations (10–9–10–8 M) induced conversion of the meristem from apical to notch morphology. Cytokinins induced both red- and blue-light-mediated photomorphogenic events, suggesting stimulation of both phytochrome and cryptochrome signaling; however, cytokinin treatment only partially substituted for light in that it did not induce hermaphroditic sexual development or spore germination in the dark. Additionally, cytokinins did not increase chlorophyll synthesis in dark-grown gametophytes, which unlike angiosperms are able to produce mature chloroplasts in the dark. Cytokinin treatment had only slight effects on light-grown gametophytes. These results suggest evolutionary conservation between angiosperms and pteridophytes in the role of cytokinins in regulating photomorphogenesis.

Keywords: Keywords: Ceratopteris richardii — Cytokinin — Gametophyte — Photomorphogenesis.; Abbreviations: BAP, benzylaminopurine; iP, N6(Δ2-isopentenyl)adenine.

Journal Article.  5831 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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