Rhizome transition to storage organ is under phytochrome control in lotus (Nelumbo nucifera)

Jun Ichiro Masuda, Yukio Ozaki, Hiroshi Okubo

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25 Citations (Scopus)


We examined photoperiodic response of lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) rhizome morphogenesis (its transition to a storage organ) by using seed-derived plants. Rhizome enlargement (increase in girth) was brought about under 8, 10 and 12 h photoperiods, whereas the rhizomes elongated under 13 and 14 h photoperiods. Rhizomes elongated under 14 h light regimes supplied as 8 h of natural light plus 6 h supplemental hours of white, yellow or red light, but similar treatments with supplemental blue, green or far red light, caused enlargement in girth of the rhizomes. A 2 h interruption of the night with white, yellow or red light, in plants entrained to 8 h photoperiod brought rhizome elongation, whereas 2 h-blue, green or far red light night breaks still resulted in rhizome increase in girth. The inhibitory effect of a red (R) light night break on rhizome increase in girth was reversed by a far-red (FR) light given immediately afterwards. Irradiation with R/FR/R inhibited the rhizome increase in girth. FR light irradiation following R/FR/R irradiation cancelled the effect of the last R light irradiation. It was demonstrated that the critical photoperiod for rhizome transition to storage organ is between 12 and 13 h photoperiod. It was also evident that the optimal light quality range for interruption of dark period (night break) is between yellow and red light and that a R/FR reversible reaction is observed. From these results, we propose that phytochrome plays an important role in photoperiodic response of rhizome increase in girth in lotus. This is the first report on phytochrome-dependent morphogenesis of storage organs in rhizomous plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-915
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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