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The Elongator complex regulates hypocotyl growth in darkness and during photomorphogenesis.

  • Woloszynska, Magdalena1, 2
  • Gagliardi, Olimpia1, 2
  • Vandenbussche, Filip3
  • De Groeve, Steven1, 2
  • Alonso Baez, Luis1, 2
  • Neyt, Pia1, 2
  • Le Gall, Sabine1, 2
  • Fung, Jorge4
  • Mas, Paloma4
  • Van Der Straeten, Dominique3
  • Van Lijsebettens, Mieke5, 2
  • 1 Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, 9052 Ghent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 2 VIB Center for Plant Systems Biology, 9052 Ghent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 3 Department of Physiology, Laboratory of Functional Plant Biology, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. , (Belgium)
  • 4 Center for Research in AgriGenomics (CRAG), Consortium CSIC-IRTA-UAB-UB, 08193 Barcelona, Spain. , (Spain)
  • 5 Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, 9052 Ghent, Belgium [email protected] , (Belgium)
Published Article
Journal of Cell Science
The Company of Biologists
Publication Date
Jul 18, 2017
DOI: 10.1242/jcs.203927
PMID: 28720596


The Elongator complex (hereafter Elongator) promotes RNA polymerase II-mediated transcript elongation through epigenetic activities such as histone acetylation. Elongator regulates growth, development, immune response and sensitivity to drought and abscisic acid. We demonstrate that elo mutants exhibit defective hypocotyl elongation but have a normal apical hook in darkness and are hyposensitive to light during photomorphogenesis. These elo phenotypes are supported by transcriptome changes, including downregulation of circadian clock components, positive regulators of skoto- or photomorphogenesis, hormonal pathways and cell wall biogenesis-related factors. The downregulated genes LHY, HFR1 and HYH are selectively targeted by Elongator for histone H3K14 acetylation in darkness. The role of Elongator in early seedling development in darkness and light is supported by hypocotyl phenotypes of mutants defective in components of the gene network regulated by Elongator, and by double mutants between elo and mutants in light or darkness signaling components. A model is proposed in which Elongator represses the plant immune response and promotes hypocotyl elongation and photomorphogenesis via transcriptional control of positive photomorphogenesis regulators and a growth-regulatory network that converges on genes involved in cell wall biogenesis and hormone signaling.

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