Phytochrome F plays critical roles in potato photoperiodic tuberization
The transition to tuberization contributes greatly to the adaptability of potato to a wide range of environments. Phytochromes are important light receptors for the growth and development of plants, but the detailed functions of phytochromes remain unclear in potato. In this study, we first confirmed that phytochrome F ( St PHYF ) played essential roles in photoperiodic tuberization in potato. By suppressing the St PHYF gene, the strict short‐day potato genotype exhibited normal tuber formation under long‐day ( LD ) conditions, together with the degradation of the CONSTANTS protein St COL 1 and modulation of two FLOWERING LOCUS T ( FT ) paralogs, as demonstrated by the repression of St SP 5G and by the activation of St SP 6A during the light period. The function of St PHYF was further confirmed through grafting the scion of St PHYF ‐silenced lines, which induced the tuberization of untransformed stock under LD s, suggesting that St PHYF was involved in the production of mobile signals for tuberization in potato. We also identified that St PHYF exhibited substantial interaction with St PHYB both in vitro and in vivo . Therefore, our results indicate that St PHYF plays a role in potato photoperiodic tuberization, possibly by forming a heterodimer with St PHYB .
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