PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
PKS2: A link between phototropin signalling and auxin transport - a study on how plants sense and respond to light.
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Centre Intégratif de Génomique Bâtiment Génopode
Number of pages
The blue light photoreceptors phototropins (phot1 and phot2 in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.)) carry out various light responses of great adaptive value that optimize plant growth. These processes include phototropism (the bending of an organ induced by unequal light distribution), chloroplast movements, stomatal opening, leaf flattening and solar tracking. The biochemical pathways controlling these important blue light responses are just starting to be elucidated. The PHYTOCHROME KINASE SUBSTRATE (PKS1-4) proteins - the subject of this research - have recently been identified as novel phototropism signalling components. PKS1 (the founding member of this family) interacts in a same complex in vivo with phot1 and the important phot1 signalling element NON-PHOTOTROPIC HYPOCOTYL 3 (NPH3). This suggested that the PKS may act as early components of phot signalling. This work further investigates the role of this protein family during phototropin signalling Genetic experiments clearly showed that the PKS do not control chloroplast movements or stomatal opening. However, PKS2 plays a critical role with NPH3 during leaf flattening and solar tracking. Epistasis data indicated that both proteins act in phot1 and phot2 pathways, which is consistent with their in vivo interaction with both phototropins. Because phototropism, leaf flattening and solar tracking are developmental processes regulated by the hormone auxin, the role of PKS2 and NPH3 during auxin homeostasis was also investigated. Interestingly, PKS2 loss-of-function restores leaf flattening in the auxin transporter mutant aux1. Moreover, PKS2 and NPH3 are found in a same complex with AUX1 in vivo. Taken together, these results suggest that PKS2 may act with NPH3 as a connecting point between phot signalling and auxin transport. Further experiments were performed to explore the molecular mode of action of PKS2 and NPH3 in this process. The significance of these results is discussed.
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