Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.534, 857-863, 2021
Phytochrome-interacting factor 4 (PIF4) inhibits expression of SHORT HYPOCOTYL 2 (SHY2) to promote hypocotyl growth during shade avoidance in Arabidopsis
Plants sense the presence of competing neighboring vegetation as a change in light quality. These changes initiate shade avoidance syndrome (SAS) responses. PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTORS (PIFs) are crucial factors in the SAS response. In particular, they mediate the expression of multiple phytohormones and cell expansion genes. Many positive regulatory factors in the SAS response have been identified, but the negative regulation of SAS transcription factors remains poorly understood. The functions of the short hypocotyl 2 (SHY2) transcription factor during the SAS response have not been established, although its roles in the participating hormone and stress responses are well documented. Here, the SHY2 loss-of-function (shy2-31) mutant had a longer hypocotyl, but the gain-of-function (shy2-2) hypocotyl was shorter than that of the wild type under white and shade conditions. We showed that the SHY2 expression level and its associated protein significantly accumulated under shade conditions. Furthermore, SHY2 transcript levels significantly increased in mutant pifQ, but decreased in PIF4OX compared to the wild type, which indicated that PIF4 is a transcriptional repressor of SHY2. ChIP assays have consistently shown that PIF4 directly binds to the promoters of SHY2. We further show that PIF4OX partially rescued the short hypocotyl characteristic of shy2-2 under white and shade conditions. Our results provide new insights into the regulatory mechanisms controlling SAS mediated elongation of the hypocotyl by PIF4-SHY2 modules in Arabidopsis. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.