Light on the dark side of plant development

We, being plant photobiologists, typically study the aboveground plant parts when investigating the effects of light signaling. Nevertheless, a substantial part of the plant is hidden in the soil that presents a multitude of challenges to plants as well. plant roots are incredibly plastic and can adjust development to many different below ground factors, such as salinity [1], nutrients and water [e.g. 2]. We have just published a short review in Plant Physiology [3, van Gelderen, Kang & Pierik] on the current understanding of how aboveground light quality influences root development and plasticity. We are discussing shoot to root piping of light through the plants interiors, mobile chemical factors, and their impact on root development, as well as root responsiveness to external cues. We hope you enjoy reading it.

[1] Julkowska M & Testerink C (2015) Tuning plant signaling and growth to survive salt. Trend Plant Sci 20: 586-594 (pdf).
[2] Vidal EA et al (2015) Transcriptional networks in the nitrate response of Arabidopsis thaliana. Curr Opin Plant Biol 27: 125132 (pdf).
[3] van Gelderen K, Kang C and Pierik R. (2017) Light signaling, root development and plasticity. Plant Physiology, in press. (pdf).



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