Phytochrome B regulates reactive oxygen signaling during abiotic and biotic stress in plants

Yosef Fichman, Haiyan Xiong, Soham Sengupta, Johanna Morrow, Hailey Loog, Rajeev K. Azad, Julian M. Hibberd, Emmanuel Liscum, Ron Mittler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the photoreceptor protein phytochrome B (phyB) play a key role in plant acclimation to stress. However, how phyB that primarily functions in the nuclei impacts ROS signaling mediated by respiratory burst oxidase homolog (RBOH) proteins that reside on the plasma membrane, during stress, is unknown. Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa mutants, RNA-Seq, bioinformatics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and whole-plant ROS imaging were used to address this question. Here, we reveal that phyB and RBOHs function as part of a key regulatory module that controls apoplastic ROS production, stress-response transcript expression, and plant acclimation in response to excess light stress. We further show that phyB can regulate ROS production during stress even if it is restricted to the cytosol and that phyB, respiratory burst oxidase protein D (RBOHD), and respiratory burst oxidase protein F (RBOHF) coregulate thousands of transcripts in response to light stress. Surprisingly, we found that phyB is also required for ROS accumulation in response to heat, wounding, cold, and bacterial infection. Our findings reveal that phyB plays a canonical role in plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses, regulating apoplastic ROS production, possibly while at the cytosol, and that phyB and RBOHD/RBOHF function in the same regulatory pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1711-1727
Number of pages17
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • acclimation
  • phytochrome
  • reactive oxygen species
  • respiratory burst oxidase homolog
  • signal transduction
  • stress


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