Cryptochrome photoreceptors cry1 and cry2 antagonistically regulate primary root elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana

Roberto C. Canamero, Nadia Bakrim, Jean Pierre Bouly, Alvaro Garay, Elizabeth E. Dudkin, Yvette Habricot, Margaret Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Cryptochromes are blue-light receptors controlling multiple aspects of plant growth and development. They are flavoproteins with significant homology to photolyases, but instead of repairing DNA they function by transducing blue light energy into a signal that can be recognized by the cellular signaling machinery. Here we report the effect of cry1 and cry2 blue light receptors on primary root growth in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings, through analysis of both cryptochrome-mutant and cryptochrome-overexpressing lines. Cry1 mutant seedlings show reduced root elongation in blue light while overexpressing seedlings show significantly increased elongation as compared to wild type controls. By contrast, the cry2 mutation has the opposite effect on root elongation growth as does cry1, demonstrating that cry1 and cry2 act antagonistically in this response pathway. The site of cryptochrome signal perception is within the shoot, and the inhibitor of auxin transport, 1-N-naphthylphthalamic acid, abolishes the differential effect of cryptochromes on root growth, suggesting the blue-light signal is transmitted from the shoot to the root by a mechanism that involves auxin. Primary root elongation in blue light may thereby involve interaction between cryptochrome and auxin signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)995-1003
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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