Tetrapyrroles pp 221-234 | Cite as


Bilin-Linked Photoreceptors in Bacteria and Plants
Part of the Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit book series (MBIU)


The phytochromes and related prokaryotic photoreceptors utilise a linear tetrapyrrole chromophore to monitor the surrounding light environment. They are found in most photosynthetic organisms, and also some nonphotosynthetic bacteria from which they most likely evolved. A key feature of the phytochromes is that they respond to light in a photoreversible manner. In plants, red light leads to the formation of Pfr, the physiologically-active phytochrome species, while far-red light reverses this process to give the Pr form. Prokaryotic phytochromes are also photoreversible, and are thought to be involved in regulating processes such as chromatic adaptation, phototaxis and pigment synthesis. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana there are five phytochromes that are involved in regulating all stages of plant development from germination to flowering. They also play a key role in chloroplast development and the regulation of the tetrapyrrole pathway.


Histidine Kinase Domain phyB Mutant Photoactive Yellow Protein Plant Phytochrome Shade Avoidance Syndrome 


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© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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