Short- and Long-Term Effects of UVA on Arabidopsis Are Mediated by a Novel cGMP Phosphodiesterase

Jean Charles Isner, Vlad Aris Olteanu, Alexander J. Hetherington, Aude Coupel-Ledru, Peng Sun, Ashley J. Pridgeon, Glyndyr S. Jones, Matthew Oates, Tom A. Williams, Frans J.M. Maathuis, Richard Kift, Ann R. Webb, Julian Gough, Keara A. Franklin, Alistair M. Hetherington*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

22 Citations (Scopus)
222 Downloads (Pure)


Although UVA radiation (315–400 nm) represents 95% of the UV radiation reaching the earth's surface, surprisingly little is known about its effects on plants [1]. We show that in Arabidopsis, short-term exposure to UVA inhibits the opening of stomata, and this requires a reduction in the cytosolic level of cGMP. This process is independent of UVR8, the UVB receptor. A cGMP-activated phosphodiesterase (AtCN-PDE1) was responsible for the UVA-induced decrease in cGMP in Arabidopsis. AtCN-PDE1-like proteins form a clade within the large HD-domain/PDEase-like protein superfamily, but no eukaryotic members of this subfamily have been functionally characterized. These genes have been lost from the genomes of metazoans but are otherwise conserved as single-copy genes across the tree of life. In longer-term experiments, UVA radiation increased growth and decreased water-use efficiency. These experiments revealed that PDE1 is also a negative regulator of growth. As the PDE1 gene is ancient and not represented in animal lineages, it is likely that at least one element of cGMP signaling in plants has evolved differently to the system present in metazoans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2580-2585.e4
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number15
Early online date25 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2019


  • Arabidopsis, evolution
  • cGMP
  • cGMP-phosphodiesterase
  • cyclic nucleotides
  • guard cell signaling
  • light signaling
  • UVA
  • water-use efficiency


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