Chloroplast-localized sigma factor (SIG) proteins promote specificity of the plastid-encoded RNA polymerase. SIG2 function appears to be necessary for light-grown Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Specific photoreceptors or light-dependent factors that impact the light-induced accumulation of SIG2 have not been reported. A molecular link between phytochromes and nuclear-encoded SIG2, which impacts photomorphogenesis specifically under red (R) and far-red (FR) light, is described here. Both phyA and phyB promote SIG2 transcript accumulation. Disruption of SIG2 results in R- and FR-specific defects in the inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and cotyledon expansion, although no impairments in these responses are detected for sig2 mutants under blue (B) or white (W) light. SIG2 also impacts root elongation under W and R, and the R-dependent expression of PIF4, encoding a phytochrome-interacting factor, and HY2, which encodes a phytochrome chromophore biosynthetic enzyme. Whereas SIG2 apparently impacts the accumulation of the phytochromobilin (PΦB) phytochrome chromophore, sig2 mutants differ significantly from PΦB mutants, primarily due to wavelength-specific defects in photomorphogenesis and disruption of a distinct subset of phytochrome-dependent responses. The molecular link between phytochromes and SIG2 is likely to be an important part of the co-ordination of gene expression to maintain stoichiometry between the nuclear-encoded phytochrome apoprotein and plastid-derived PΦB, which combine to form photoactive phytochromes, and/or light-dependent SIG2 accumulation is involved in an inductive light signalling pathway co-ordinating components between nucleus and plastids.
Oh, S., & Montgomery, B. L. (2013). Phytochrome-induced SIG2 expression contributes to photoregulation of phytochrome signalling and photomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Experimental Botany, 64(18), 5457–5472. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ert308