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A Zinc Protein That Controls Morning-specific Growth in Plants

Inventors: Olivier Loudet, Todd P. Michael, Detlef Weigel, and Joanne Chory
Potential Uses: Biomass Production, Increasing Plant Growth

Tandem zinc knuckle/PLU3 domain encoding gene that acts downstream of the circadian clock and photoreceptor signaling pathways and plays a role in growth regulation and plant biomass production

LIGHT5 (TZP) controls growth throughout development. Increased TZP activity results in longer hypocotyls under blue light. TZP-OX is a transgenic line overexpressing TZP in rHIF138-8 background. TZP-OX plants have longer hypocotyls under light/dark cycles (12 hrs/12 hrs) compared to its background (rHIF138-8). Bar represents 20cm.

Growth in plants is modulated by a complex interplay between internal signals and external cues. We have identified LIGHT5, a tandem zinc knuckle/PLU3 domain encoding gene (At5g43630; TZP), which controls blue light associated growth in a time-of-day fashion by regulating genes involved in growth, such as peroxidase and cell wall synthesis genes. TZP expression is phased by the circadian clock and light/dark cycles to the beginning of the day, the time of maximal growth in A. thaliana in short-day conditions. Based on its domain structure and localization in the nucleus, we propose that TZP acts downstream of the circadian clock and photoreceptor signaling pathways to directly control genes responsible for growth. Although multiple light signaling genes controlling hypocotyl length have been characterized, the identification of TZP thus provides new insight into how daily synchronization of growth pathways plays a critical role in growth regulation and may have applications in plant biomass production.

Salk No: S08013
Patent Status: U.S. Patent Application filed October 10, 2008
Publications: PNAS 105(44): 17183-17198 (November 2008)
License Terms: Exclusive, Partially Exclusive, Nonexclusive license negotiable
Contact: Michelle Booden, Ph.D., Director of Licensing, 858.453.4100 x1612,

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