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Time series transcriptomics reveals a BBX32-directed control of dynamic acclimation to high light in mature Arabidopsis leaves

By Ruben Alvarez-Fernandez, Christopher A. Penfold, Gregorio Galvez-Valdivieso, Marino Exposito-Rodriguez, Ellie J. Stallard, Laura Bowden, Jonathan D. Moore, Andrew Mead, Phillip A. Davey, Jack S.A. Matthews, Jim Beynon, Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston, David L. Wild, Tracy Lawson, Ulrike Bechtold, Katherine Denby, Philip M. Mullineaux

Posted 26 Dec 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.12.23.424212

The photosynthetic capacity of mature leaves increases after several days exposure to constant or intermittent episodes of high light (HL) and is manifested primarily as changes in chloroplast physiology. This is termed dynamic acclimation but how it is initiated and controlled is unknown. From fully expanded Arabidopsis leaves, we determined HL-dependent changes in transcript abundance of 3844 genes in a 0-6h time-series transcriptomics experiment. It was hypothesised that among such genes were those that contribute to the initiation of dynamic acclimation. By focussing on HL differentially expressed transcription (co-)factor (TF) genes and applying dynamic statistical modelling to the temporal transcriptomics data, a gene regulatory network (GRN) of 47 predominantly photoreceptor-regulated (co)-TF genes was inferred. The most connected gene in this network was B-BOX DOMAIN CONTAINING PROTEIN32 (BBX32). Plants over-expressing BBX32 were strongly impaired in dynamic acclimation and displayed perturbed expression of genes involved in its initiation. These observations led to demonstrating that as well as regulation of dynamic acclimation by BBX32, CRYPTOCHROME1, LONG HYPOCOTYL5, CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1 and SUPPRESSOR OF PHYA-105 are also important regulators of this process. Additionally, the BBX32-centric GRN provides a view of the transcriptional control of dynamic acclimation distinct from other photoreceptor-regulated processes, such as seedling photomorphogenesis.

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