UVR8-dependent reporters reveal spatial characteristics of signal spreading in plant tissues
The UV Resistance Locus 8 (UVR8) photoreceptor controls UV-B mediated photomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis. The aim of this work is to collect and characterize different molecular reporters of photomorphogenic UV-B responses. Browsing available transcriptome databases, we identified sets of genes responding specifically to this radiation and are controlled by pathways initiated from the UVR8 photoreceptor. We tested the transcriptional changes of several reporters and found that they are regulated differently in different parts of the plant. Our experimental system led us to conclude that the examined genes are not controlled by light piping of UV-B from the shoot to the root or signalling molecules which may travel between different parts of the plant body but by local UVR8 signalling. The initiation of these universal signalling steps can be the induction of Elongated Hypocotyl 5 (HY5) and its homologue, HYH transcription factors. We found that their transcript and protein accumulation strictly depends on UVR8 and happens in a tissue autonomous manner. Whereas HY5 accumulation correlates well with the UVR8 signal across cell layers, the induction of flavonoids depends on both UVR8 signal and a yet to be identified tissue-dependent or developmental determinant.