Journal Article

Phototropin from <i>Chlamydomonas reinhardtii</i> is Functional in <i>Arabidopsis</i> <i>thaliana</i>

Akihiko Onodera, Sam-Geun Kong, Michio Doi, Ken-Ichiro Shimazaki, John Christie, Nobuyoshi Mochizuki and Akira Nagatani

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 46, issue 2, pages 367-374
Published in print February 2005 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online February 2005 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Phototropin from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is Functional in Arabidopsis thaliana

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


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Phototropin, a plant blue light photoreceptor, mediates important blue light responses such as phototropism, chloroplast positioning and stomatal opening in higher plants. In Arabidopsis thaliana, two phototoropins, phototropin 1 and 2, are known. Recently, in the unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a phototropin homolog was identified. It exhibits photochemical properties similar to those of higher plant phototropins and is involved in multiple steps of the sexual life cycle of Chlamydomonas. Here, we expressed Chlamydomonas phototropin in Arabidopsis to examine whether it is active in a distantly related plant species. The Arabidopsis mutant deficient in both phototropin 1 and 2 was transformed with a vector containing Chlamydomonas phototropin cDNA fused to a cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter. The resulting lines were classified into high, medium and low expressers based on RNA gel blot and immunoblot analyses. Typical phototropin responses were restored in high expression lines. These results demonstrate that Chlamydomonas phototropin is functional in higher plants. Hence, the basic mechanism of phototropin action is highly conserved, even though its apparent physiological functions are quite diverse.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; Blue light response; Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; Phototropin; Signal transduction; CaMV, cauliflower mosaic virus; phot, phototropin

Journal Article.  5903 words.  Illustrated.

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

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