Plant Physiol. 119 (3): 1033-1040 (Mar 1999)
A Photoperiod-Insensitive Barley Line Contains a Light-Labile Phytochrome B1
Mamatha Hanumappa, Lee H. Pratt, Marie-Michele Cordonnier-Pratt, and Gerald F. Deitzer

Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is a long-day plant whose flowering is enhanced when the photoperiod is supplemented with far-red light, and this promotion is mediated by phytochrome. A chemically mutagenized dwarf cultivar of barley was selected for early flowering time (barley maturity daylength response [BMDR]-1) and was made isogenic with the cultivar Shabet (BMDR-8) by backcrossing. BMDR-1 was found to contain higher levels of both phytochrome A and phytochrome B in the dark on immunoblots with monoclonal antibodies from oat (Avena sativa L.) that are specific to different members of the phytochrome gene family. Phytochrome A was light labile in both BMDR-1 and BMDR-8, decreasing to very low levels after 4 d of growth in the light. Phytochrome B was light stable in BMDR-8, being equal in both light and darkness. However, phytochrome B became light labile in BMDR-1 and this destabilization of phytochrome B appeared to make BMDR-1 insensitive to photoperiod. In addition, both the mutant and the wild type lacked any significant promotion of flowering in response to a pulse of far-red light given at the end of day, and the end-of-day, far-red inhibition of tillering is normal in both, suggesting that phytochrome B is not involved with these responses in barley.