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25/1/2017

Describe and explain how the photoreceptor pigments


influence growth and development (10)

Photoreceptor pigments detect light and stimulate a response.


There are two forms, PR and PFR, depending on the light quality and
these 2 forms are antagonistic.

In the daylight, PFR accumulates. This is the physiologically


active form and promotes expansion of leaves, chlorophyll
synthesis, chloroplast development, flowering in long day plants and
germination in small seeds. However, it inhibits the elongation of
internodes (Etiolation) and flowering in short day plants.

The stimulation of germination ensure that the seeds


germinate only when a lot of red light is available, which increases
the chances of survival.These seeds such as lettuce germinate only
when there is sufficient red light for photosynthesis as they have
small food reserves

In the winter, when the days are shorter, long day plants do
not flower due to a higher concentration of P660 concentration and
hence no Florigen to promote flowering.

In darkness, under Far Red Light, PR accumulates and promotes


Etiolation and flowering of short day plants. However, it inhibits
chlorophyll synthesis, leaf expansion, germination in small seeds
and flowering in long day plants.

There is less concentration of PFR and so the long day plants


do not flower due to no Florigen, needed to promote flowering .

Plants also use the phytochrome system to adjust growth


according to the seasons. This is called Photoperiodism and it is a
biological response to the timing and duration of dark and light
periods.

The phytochrome system enables plants to compare the


length of dark periods over several days. Shortening nights indicate
springtime to the plant and lengthening nights indicate autumn.
This information, along with sensing temperature and water
availability, allows plants to determine the time of the year and
adjust their physiology accordingly. This ensures that the plants
flower when conditions are favourable for pollination and seed
dispersal or germination

Phytochrome pigments is produced in leaves and occurs as 2


interconvertable forms: PFR and PR
25/1/2017

In daylight, PFR accumulates and is the physiological active form.


Promotes: leaf expansion and chlorophyll synthesis. So that
adequate light can be absorbed for photosynthesis.
Promotes germination of small seeds, therefore only germinate
when there is enough red light for photosynthesis, since their
reserves (stores) are small.
Promotes flowering in long day plants. This helps to synchronise
flowering under photoperiods/seasons. Long day plants only flower
in autumn, when there are insects for pollination and when the
conditions for germination are favorable.
It inhibits etiolation.

PR has antagonistic effects. It promotes etiolation, by promoting


growth if internodes so that the seedling can reach light. It inhibits
leaf expansion and chlorophyll synthesis since there is no light for
photosynthesis.