University of Oulu

Emmi Alakärppä, Erja Taulavuori, Luis Valledor, Toni Marttila, Soile Jokipii-Lukkari, Katja Karppinen, Nga Nguyen, Kari Taulavuori, Hely Häggman, Early growth of Scots pine seedlings is affected by seed origin and light quality, Journal of Plant Physiology, Volume 237, 2019, Pages 120-128, ISSN 0176-1617,

Early growth of Scots pine seedlings is affected by seed origin and light quality

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Author: Alakärppä, Emmi1; Taulavuori, Erja1; Valledor, Luis2;
Organizations: 1Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, FI-90014, Oulu, Finland
2Plant Physiology, Faculty of Biology, University of Oviedo, Cat. Rodrígo Uría s/n, E-33071, Oviedo, Spain
3Department of Agricultural Sciences, Viikki Plant Science Centre, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2021-04-25


Plants have evolved a suite of photoreceptors to perceive information from the surrounding light conditions. The aim of this study was to examine photomorphogenic effects of light quality on the growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings representing southern (60 °N) and northern (68 °N) origins in Finland. We measured the growth characteristics and the expression of light-responsive genes from seedlings grown under two LED light spectra: (1) Retarder (blue and red wavelengths in ratio 0.7) inducing compact growth, and (2) Booster (moderate in blue, green and far-red wavelengths, and high intensity of red light) promoting shoot elongation.

The results show that root elongation, biomass, and branching were reduced under Retarder spectrum in the seedlings representing both origins, while inhibition in seed germination and shoot elongation was mainly detected in the seedlings of northern origin. The expression of ZTL and HY5 was related to Scots pine growth under both light spectra. Moreover, the expression of PHYN correlated with growth when exposed to Retarder, whereas CRY2 expression was associated with growth under Booster.

Our data indicates that blue light and the deficiency of far-red light limit the growth of Scots pine seedlings and that northern populations are more sensitive to blue light than southern populations. Furthermore, the data analyses suggest that ZTL and HY5 broadly participate in the light-mediated growth regulation of Scots pine, whereas PHYN responses to direct sunlight and the role of CRY2 is in shade avoidance. Altogether, our study extends the knowledge of light quality and differential gene expression affecting the early growth of Scots pines representing different latitudinal origins.

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Series: Journal of plant physiology
ISSN: 0176-1617
ISSN-E: 1618-1328
ISSN-L: 0176-1617
Volume: 237
Pages: 120 - 128
DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2019.03.012
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
Funding: This work was supported by Academy of Finland [grant number 278364 to KT and ET], Thule Institute from University of Oulu (to HH and EA), Niemi-säätiö (to EA), Oulun läänin talousseuran maataloussäätiö (to EA), Foundation for Forest Tree Breeding in Finland (to EA), and by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through Ramón y Cajal Programme [RYC-2015-17871 to LV].
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 278364
Detailed Information: 278364 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 Elsevier GmbH. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license