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PLANT CELL 17 (2): 475-485

Copyright © 2005 by the American Society of Plant Physiologists.

The Dof Transcription Factor OBP3 Modulates Phytochrome and Cryptochrome Signaling in Arabidopsis{boxw}

Jason M. Ward, Carie A. Cufr, Megan A. Denzel, and Michael M. Neff1

Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130

1 To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail mneff{at}; fax 314-935-4432.

Abstract: Plants perceive subtle changes in light quality and quantity through a set of photoreceptors, including phytochromes and cryptochromes. Upon perception, these photoreceptors initiate signal transduction pathways leading to photomorphogenic changes in development. Using activation-tagging mutagenesis to identify novel light-signaling components, we have isolated a gain-of-function mutant, sob1-D (suppressor of phytochrome B-4 [phyB-4] dominant), which suppresses the long-hypocotyl phenotype of the phyB missense allele, phyB-4. The sob1-D mutant phenotype is caused by the overexpression of a Dof (DNA binding with one finger) transcription factor, OBF4 Binding Protein 3 (OBP3). A translational fusion between OBP3 and green fluorescent protein is nuclear localized in onion (Allium cepa) cells. Tissue-specific accumulation of an OBP3:OBP3-ß-glucuronidase translational fusion is regulated by light in Arabidopsis thaliana. Hypocotyls of transgenic lines with reduced OBP3 expression are less responsive to red light. This aberrant phenotype in red light requires functional phyB, suggesting that OBP3 is a positive regulator of phyB-mediated inhibition of hypocotyl elongation. Furthermore, these partial-loss-of-function lines have larger cotyledons. This light-dependent cotyledon phenotype is most dramatic in blue light and requires functional cryptochrome 1 (cry1), indicating that OBP3 is a negative regulator of cry1-mediated cotyledon expansion. These results suggest a model where OBP3 is a component in both phyB and cry1 signaling pathways, acting as a positive and negative regulator, respectively. An alternate, though not mutually exclusive, model places OBP3 as a general inhibitor of tissue expansion with phyB and cry1, differentially modulating OBP3's role in this response.

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