Phot1 inhibition of ABCB19 primes lateral Auxin Fluxes in the Shoot Apex required for Phototropism

John M. Christie, Haibing Yang, Gregory L. Richter, Stuart Sullivan, Catriona E. Thomson, Jinshan Lin, Boosaree Titapiwatanakun, Margaret Ennis, Eirini Kaiserli, Ok Ran Lee, Jiri Adamec, Wendy A. Peer, Angus S. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


It is well accepted that lateral redistribution of the phytohormone auxin underlies the bending of plant organs towards light. In monocots, photoreception occurs at the shoot tip above the region of differential growth. Despite more than a century of research, it is still unresolved how light regulates auxin distribution and where this occurs in dicots. Here, we establish a system in Arabidopsis thaliana to study hypocotyl phototropism in the absence of developmental events associated with seedling photomorphogenesis. We show that auxin redistribution to the epidermal sites of action occurs at and above the hypocotyl apex, not at the elongation zone. Within this region, we identify the auxin efflux transporter ATP-BINDING CASSETTE B19 (ABCB19) as a substrate target for the photoreceptor kinase PHOTOTROPIN 1 (phot1). Heterologous expression and physiological analyses indicate that phosphorylation of ABCB19 by phot1 inhibits its efflux activity, thereby increasing auxin levels in and above the hypocotyl apex to halt vertical growth and prime lateral fluxes that are subsequently channeled to the elongation zone by PIN-FORMED 3 (PIN3). Together, these results provide new insights into the roles of ABCB19 and PIN3 in establishing phototropic curvatures and demonstrate that the proximity of light perception and differential phototropic growth is conserved in angiosperms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1001076
JournalPLoS biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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