UVR8 disrupts stabilisation of PIF5 by COP1 to inhibit plant stem elongation in sunlight

Ashutosh Sharma, Bhavana Sharma, Scott Hayes, Konstantin Kerner, Ute Hoecker, Gareth I. Jenkins, Keara A. Franklin*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

57 Citations (Scopus)
305 Downloads (Pure)


Alterations in light quality significantly affect plant growth and development. In canopy shade, phytochrome photoreceptors perceive reduced ratios of red to far-red light (R:FR) and initiate stem elongation to enable plants to overtop competitors. This shade avoidance response is achieved via the stabilisation and activation of PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTORs (PIFs) which elevate auxin biosynthesis. UV-B inhibits shade avoidance by reducing the abundance and activity of PIFs, yet the molecular mechanisms controlling PIF abundance in UV-B are unknown. Here we show that the UV-B photoreceptor UVR8 promotes rapid PIF5 degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system in a response requiring the N terminus of PIF5. In planta interactions between UVR8 and PIF5 are not observed. We further demonstrate that PIF5 interacts with the E3 ligase COP1, promoting PIF5 stabilisation in light-grown plants. Binding of UVR8 to COP1 in UV-B disrupts this stabilisation, providing a mechanism to rapidly lower PIF5 abundance in sunlight.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4417 (2019)
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2019


  • Light responses
  • Plant development


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