Geomagnetic field impacts on cryptochrome and phytochrome signaling

Agliassa, C., Narayana, R., Christie, J. M. and Maffei, M. E. (2018) Geomagnetic field impacts on cryptochrome and phytochrome signaling. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 185, pp. 32-40. (doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2018.05.027) (PMID:29864723)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


The geomagnetic field (GMF) is an environmental element whose instability affects plant growth and development. Despite known plant responses to GMF direction and intensity, the mechanism of magnetoreception in plants is still not known. Magnetic field variations affect many light-dependent plant processes, suggesting that the magnetoreception could require light. The objective of this work was to comprehensively investigate the influence of GMF on Arabidopsis thaliana (Col-0) photoreceptor signaling. Wild-type Arabidopsis seedlings and photoreceptor-deficient mutants (cry1cry2, phot1, phyA and phyAphyB) were exposed to near null magnetic field (NNMF, ≤40 nT) and GMF (~43 μT) under darkness and different light wavelengths. The GMF did not alter skotomorphogenic or photomorphogenic seedling development but had a significant impact on gene expression pathways downstream of cryptochrome and phytochrome photoactivation. GMF-induced changes in gene expression observed under blue light were partially associated with an alteration of cryptochrome activation. GMF impacts on phytochrome-regulated gene expression could be attributed to alterations in phytochrome protein abundance that were also dependent on the presence of cry1, cry2 and phot1. Moreover, the GMF was found to impact photomorphogenic-promoting gene expression in etiolated seedlings, indicating the existence of a light-independent magnetoreception mechanism. In conclusion, our data shows that magnetoreception alters photoreceptor signaling in Arabidopsis, but it does not necessarily depend on light.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Arabidopsis thaliana, cryptochromes, geomagnetic field, light-regulated genes, magnetoreception, photomorphogenesis, phototropins, phytochromes, skotomorphogensis.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Agliassa, Ms Chiara and Christie, Professor John
Authors: Agliassa, C., Narayana, R., Christie, J. M., and Maffei, M. E.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Journal Name:Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
ISSN (Online):1873-2682
Published Online:29 May 2018

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
659801Photoreceptor Engineering to Modulate Plant GrowthJohn ChristieBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/M002128/1RI MOLECULAR CELL & SYSTEMS BIOLOGY