Phosphorus (P) is a key macronutrient whose availability has a profound effect on plant growth and productivity. The understanding of the mechanism underlying P availability-responsive P acquisition has expanded largely in the past decade; however, effects of other environmental factors on P acquisition and utilization remain elusive. Here, by imaging natural variation in phosphate uptake in 200 natural accessions of Arabidopsis, we identify two accessions with low phosphate uptake activity, Lm-2 and CSHL-5. In these accessions, natural variants of phytochrome B were found to cause both decreased light sensitivity and lower phosphate uptake. Furthermore, we also found that expression levels of phosphate starvation-responsive genes are directly modulated by phytochrome interacting factors (PIF) PIF4/PIF5 and HY5 transcription factors whose activity is under the control of phytochromes. These findings disclose a new molecular mechanism underlying red-light-induced activation of phosphate uptake, which is responsible for different activity for P acquisition in some natural accessions of Arabidopsis.
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