University Of Tasmania

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The phytochrome-deficient pcd1 mutant of pea is unable to convert heme to biliverdin IXa

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 10:06 authored by James WellerJames Weller, Terry, MJ, Rameau, C, James ReidJames Reid, Kendrick, RE
We isolated a new pea mutant that was selected on the basis of pale color and elongated internodes in a screen under white light. The mutant was designated pcd1 for phytochrome chromophore deficient. Light-grown pcd1 plants have yellow-green foliage with a reduced chlorophyll (Chl) content and an abnormally high Chl a/Chl b ratio. Etiolated pcd1 seedlings are developmentally insensitive to far-red light, show a reduced response to red light, and have no spectrophotometrically detectable phytochrome. The phytochrome A apoprotein is present at the wild-type level in etiolated pcd1 seedlings but is not depleted by red light treatment. Crude phytochrome preparations from etiolated pcd1 tissue also lack spectral activity but can be assembled with phycocyanobilin, an analog of the endogenous phytochrome chromophore phytochromobilin, to yield a difference spectrum characteristic of an apophytochrome-phycocyanobilin adduct. These results indicate that the pcd1-conferred phenotype results from a deficiency in phytochrome chromophore synthesis. Furthermore, etioplast preparations from pcd1 seedlings can metabolize biliverdin (BV) IXα but not heme to phytochromobilin, indicating that pcd1 plants are severely impaired in their ability to convert heme to BV IXα. This provides clear evidence that the conversion of heme to BV IXα is an enzymatic process in higher plants and that it is required for synthesis of the phytochrome chromophore and hence for normal photomorphogenesis.


Publication title

The Plant Cell








School of Natural Sciences


Amer Soc Plant Biologists

Place of publication

15501 Monona Drive, Rockville, USA, Md, 20855

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Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences

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