Light is a critical signal perceived by plants to adapt their growth rate and direction. Although many signaling components have been studied, how plants respond to constantly fluctuating light remains underexplored. Here, we showed that in the moss Physcomitrium (Physcomitrella) patens, the PSTAIRE-type cyclin-dependent kinase PpCDKA is dispensable for growth. Instead, PpCDKA and its homolog in Arabidopsis thaliana control light-induced tropisms and chloroplast movements by probably influencing the cytoskeleton organization independently of the cell cycle. In addition, lower PpCDKA kinase activity was required to elicit light responses relative to cell cycle regulation. Thus, our study suggests that plant CDKAs may have been co-opted to control multiple light responses, and owing to the bistable switch properties of PSTAIRE-type CDKs, the noncanonical functions are widely conserved for eukaryotic environmental adaptation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes