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Unlocking the secrets of a plant’s light sensitivity
Date:12/13/2010

when plants were genetically manipulated to be brassinosteroid-deficient. This means that the over abundance of GATA2 had the same result as the scarcity of brassinosteroids. These results show that GATA2 proteins and brassinosteroid hormones have antagonistic effects on developing plants.

Next, the Carnegie team showed that brassinosteroid is actually involved in inhibiting the actions of GATA2. Brassinosteroids turn on a protein that prevents GATA2 from working when the seedling is in the dark. This inhibition of GATA2 is stopped by exposure to light. This likely happens due to the involvement of yet another proteinone that is widely involved in light-signaling although further study is needed to be sure.

Together all these results show that GATA2 is an important factor in signaling light-type growth. It also serves as a communications junction between internal plant systems that are turned on by light and those that are turned on by brassinosteroids.

"Brassinosteroids and light antagonistically regulate the level of GATA2 activity, and thus the creation of proteins stimulated by GATA2," says Wang. "As a result, GATA2 represents a key junction of crosstalk between brassinosteroid and light signaling pathways."

The framework created by this research leaves plenty of avenues for further study of the various components of light signaling in plants. Some other members of the GATA class of proteins may be involved, as well as other light-responsive compounds.


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Contact: Zhi-Yong Wang
zywang24@stanford.edu
650-325-1521
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert

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