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Research projects

Photoreceptor interactions in plant perception of ultraviolet and blue light

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress


Luis Morales

Research subject

Research environments

Plants use sunlight as a source of energy to drive photosynthesis and as an environmental cue to regulate growth, development and acclimation to the environment. Plants perceive different wavebands of the solar spectrum through specialized protein photoreceptors. Of those photoreceptors, UV RESISTANCE LOCUS 8 (UVR8) and CRYPTOCHROMES 1 and 2 (CRYs) play major roles in the perception of ultraviolet B (UV-B, 280–315 nm) and UV-A/blue radiation (315–400 nm/400–500 nm), respectively. In this research project we aim to unravel molecular mechanisms underlying UV perception by UVR8 and crosstalk between UV and blue light induced signaling pathways. This knowledge is essential to strengthen our understanding of photoreceptor function and their roles in light perception. Using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, we recently reported novel roles for UVR8 in the perception of UV-A and impacting on blue light responses (Rai et al., 2019; Rai et al., 2020). We have also demonstrated that UVR8 and CRYs redundantly provide plant survival to UV-B in sunlight, and that CRYs act as negative regulators of UV-B induced transcript regulation.

Selected publications

Neha Rai, Susanne Neugart, Yan Yan, Fang Wang, Sari M Siipola, Anders V Lindfors, Jana Barbro Winkler, Andreas Albert, Mikael Brosché, Tarja Lehto, Luis O Morales, Pedro J Aphalo. (2019). How do cryptochromes and UVR8 interact in natural and simulated sunlight? Journal of Experimental Botany, 70, 4975–4990.

Neha Rai, Andrew O’Hara, Daniel Farkas, Omid Safronov, Khuanpiroon Ratanasopa, Fang Wang, Anders V. Lindfors, Gareth I. Jenkins, Tarja Lehto, Jarkko Salojärvi, Mikael Brosché, Åke Strid, Pedro J. Aphalo, Luis O. Morales. (2020). The photoreceptor UVR8 mediates the perception of both UV‐B and UV‐A wavelengths up to 350 nm of sunlight with responsivity moderated by cryptochromes. Plant, Cell & Environment,


Research funding bodies

  • The Magnus Bergvall Foundation
  • Örebro University