Blue light regulates secondary cell wall thickening via MYC2/MYC4 activation of the NST1–directed transcriptional network in Arabidopsis
Qian Zhang, Zhi Xie, Rui Zhang, Peng Xu, Hongtao Liu, Hongquan Yang, Monika S Doblin, Antony Bacic and Laigeng Li*
Secondary cell walls (SCWs) are formed in some specific types of plant cells, providing plants with mechanical strength. During plant growth and development, formation of secondary cell walls is regulated by various developmental and environmental signals. The underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. In this study, we analyzed the blue light receptor cryptochrome 1 (cry1) mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana for its SCW phenotypes. During inflorescence stem growth, SCW thickening in the vasculature was significantly affected by blue light. cry1 plants displayed a decline of SCW thickening in fiber cells, while CRY1 over-expression led to enhanced SCW formation. Transcriptome analysis indicated that the reduced SCW thickening was associated with repression of the NST1-directed transcription regulatory networks. Further analyses revealed that the expression of MYC2/MYC4 that is induced by blue light activates the transcriptional network underlying SCW thickening. The activation is caused by direct binding of MYC2/MYC4 to the NST1 promoter. This study demonstrates that SCW thickening in fiber cells is regulated by a blue light signal that is mediated through MYC2/MYC4 activation of NST1–directed SCW formation in Arabidopsis.