University of Cambridge > > Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars > Blue light sensing in plants and bacteria: all you need is a little LOV

Blue light sensing in plants and bacteria: all you need is a little LOV

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Light is one of the most important environmental cues controlling plant development and is achieved through a suite of photoreceptor proteins. Like photoreceptors associated with our vision, plant photosensors can detect the presence, intensity, direction and colour of light, and in turn, utilise this information to direct their growth. To date, four different types of photoreceptors have been identified. Among them is a small family of proteins known as the phototropins (phot) that are activated specifically by UV/blue wavelengths of light. Photoactivation of these light-driven receptor kinases stimulate a variety of processes that ultimately optimise the photosynthetic efficiency of plants, including phototropism after which they were named. In particular, photoregulation is mediate by a small (~10 kDa) photosensory motif known as the LOV domain. The LOV photosensory module is also present in a large number of otherwise very different bacterial proteins that are activated by blue light. Progress in understanding the light sensing and signalling mechanisms associated with plant phototropins and related proteins will be discussed as will the development of novel applications for LOV -based photosensors.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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