About this project
Light is a key environmental signal that fuels plant photosynthesis and regulates growth and development. Plants use specific protein receptors to perceive different wavelengths of incoming light. Of these photoreceptors, UV RESISTANCE LOCUS 8 (UVR8) and cryptochromes 1 and 2 (CRYs) play major roles in the perception of UV-B (280-315 nm) and UV-A/blue radiation (315–500 nm), respectively. Despite recent advances in our understanding of plant responses to UV-B and UV-A/blue radiation regulated by UVR8 and CRYs, respectively, there is still a significant gap in knowledge on the regulatory roles of these photoreceptors in wavelengths of the spectrum outside their maximal absorption. Furthermore, it is not known how UVR8 and CRYs together mediate plant responses under conditions where both photoreceptors can be activated. The aim of the proposed research is to unravel molecular mechanisms underlying UV-A perception by UVR8 and crosstalk between UV and blue light induced signaling pathways. The data generated within this project will strengthen our understanding of photoreceptor function by providing novel mechanistic insight into how UVR8 perceives UV-A, and how it could impact plant responses to blue light. Understanding UV and blue light perception, signaling and response allows the generation of novel strategies for crop plant improvement that could benefit farmers, consumers and the environment.