Nature communications

The transcriptional regulator BBX24 impairs DELLA activity to promote shade avoidance in Arabidopsis thaliana.

PMID 25656233


In response to canopy shade, plant vegetative structures elongate to gain access to light. However, the mechanism that allows a plastic transcriptional response to canopy shade light is not fully elucidated. Here we propose that the activity of PIF4, a key transcription factor in the shade signalling network, is modulated by the interplay between the BBX24 transcriptional regulator and DELLA proteins, which are negative regulators of the gibberellin (GA) signalling pathway. We show that GA-related targets are enriched among genes responsive to BBX24 under shade and that the shade-response defect in bbx24 mutants is rescued by a GA treatment that promotes DELLA degradation. BBX24 physically interacts with DELLA proteins and alleviates DELLA-mediated repression of PIF4 activity. The proposed molecular mechanism provides reversible regulation of the activity of a key transcription factor that may prove especially relevant under fluctuating light conditions.