Cellulose synthesis is precisely regulated by internal and external cues, and emerging evidence suggests that light regulates cellulose biosynthesis through specific light receptors. Recently, the blue light receptor CRYPTOCHROME 1 (CRY1) was shown to positively regulate secondary cell wall biosynthesis in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Here, we characterize the role of FLAVIN-BINDING KELCH REPEAT, F-BOX 1 (FKF1), another blue light receptor and well-known photoperiodic flowering time regulator, in cellulose biosynthesis. A phenotype suppression screen using a cellulose deficient mutant cesa1aegeus,cesa3ixr1-2 (c1,c3), which carries nonlethal point mutations in CELLULOSE SYNTHASE A 1 (CESA1) and CESA3, resulted in identification of the phenotype-restoring large leaf (llf) mutant. Next-generation mapping using the whole genome resequencing method identified the llf locus as FKF1. FKF1 was confirmed as the causal gene through observation of the llf phenotype in an independent triple mutant c1,c3,fkf1-t carrying a FKF1 T-DNA insertion mutant. Moreover, overexpression of FKF1 in llf plants restored the c1,c3 phenotype. The fkf1 mutants showed significant increases in cellulose content and CESA gene expression compared with that in wild-type Columbia-0 plants, suggesting a negative role of FKF1 in cellulose biosynthesis. Using genetic, molecular, and phenocopy and biochemical evidence, we have firmly established the role of FKF1 in regulation of cellulose biosynthesis. In addition, CESA expression analysis showed that diurnal expression patterns of CESAs are FKF1 independent, whereas their circadian expression patterns are FKF1 dependent. Overall, our work establishes a role of FKF1 in the regulation of cell wall biosynthesis in Arabidopsis.
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