Cytokinin-induced photomorphogenesis in dark-grown Arabidopsis: a proteomic analysis
High concentrations of cytokinins (CKs) in the cultivation medium can induce partial photomorphogenesis in dark-grown Arabidopsis seedlings. However, no significant increases in endogenous CK levels have been found in de-etiolated mutants, suggesting that either parallel pathways are involved in the light and CK responses, or changes in the sensitivity to CKs occur during photomorphogenesis. Here it is shown that even modest increases in endogenous CK levels induced by transgenic expression of the CK biosynthetic gene, ipt, can lead to many typical features of light-induced de-etiolation, including inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and partial cotyledon opening. In addition, significant changes in expression of 37 proteins (mostly related to chloroplast biogenesis, a major element of light-induced photomorphogenesis) were detected by image and mass spectrometric analysis of two-dimensionally separated proteins. The identified chloroplast proteins were all up-regulated in response to increased CKs, and more than half are up-regulated at the transcript level during light-induced photomorphogenesis according to previously published transcriptomic data. Four of the up-regulated chloroplast proteins identified here have also been shown to be up-regulated during light-induced photomorphogenesis in previous proteomic analyses. In contrast, all differentially regulated mitochondrial proteins (the second largest group of differentially expressed proteins) were down-regulated. Changes in the levels of several tubulins are consistent with the observed morphological alterations. Further, 10 out of the 37 differentially expressed proteins detected have not been linked to either photomorphogenesis or CK action in light-grown Arabidopsis seedlings in previously published transcriptomic or proteomic analyses.