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Sci. STKE, 27 November 2007
Vol. 2007, Issue 414, p. tw433
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.4142007tw433]

EDITORS' CHOICE

Molecular Biology Domesticated Mobile Elements Modulate Light Responses

Beverly A. Purnell

Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA

Plants constantly gauge their environments and adjust their growth and development in order to survive. Plants can "see" their surroundings using a battery of photoreceptors to determine the color, intensity, direction, and duration of light around them. Phytochrome A (phyA) mediates various far-red light-induced responses through a cascade of signaling events. Lin et al. report that two proteins co-opted from ancestral Mutator-like transposable element(s) act as transcription factors essential for phyA-controlled gene expression. These results provide insight into the mechanisms and evolutionary history of phytochrome signaling in higher plants and lend support for a role of mobile elements as driving forces for host evolution.

R. Lin, L. Ding, C. Casola, D. R. Ripoll, C. Feschotte, H. Wang, Transposase-derived transcription factors regulate light signaling in Arabidopsis. Science 318, 1302-1305 (2007). [Abstract] [Full Text]

Citation: B. A. Purnell, Domesticated Mobile Elements Modulate Light Responses. Sci. STKE 2007, tw433 (2007).


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