PRR proteins of the circadian clock call time on plant shade avoidance

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Light limitation represents a significant threat to plant survival. Shade-intolerant species have, therefore, evolved mechanisms to detect and avoid shading by neighbors. Plants detect the proximity and density of neighboring vegetation by monitoring alterations in light quality (1). Phytochrome photoreceptors detect changes in the ratio of red (R) to far-red light (FR), with phytochrome B performing a dominant role. R is absorbed by living vegetation and used for photosynthesis, whereas the majority of FR is transmitted through and reflected within canopies. R:FR is, therefore, reduced proportionally with increasing depth of canopy (1). Early perception of encroaching shade enables plants to rapidly elongate stems and elevate leaves to overtop competitors and avoid light limitation. Such responses are termed shade avoidance and can promote survival in mixed stands (1). Shade avoidance is regulated by a group of transcription factors named PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTORS (PIFs), with PIF4, PIF5, and PIF7 performing dominant roles (2⇓–4). These PIFs collectively promote synthesis of the growth-promoting hormone auxin (4, 5). In sunlight (high R:FR), phytochrome B becomes activated …
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5095-5096
Number of pages2
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
Early online date14 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2020

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