Cryptochrome 1a depends on blue light fluence rate to mediate osmotic stress responses in tomato
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The participation of plant cryptochromes in water deficit response mechanisms has been highlighted in several reports. However, the role of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) cryptochrome 1a (cry1a) in the blue light fluence-dependent modulation of the water deficit response remains largely elusive. The tomato cry1a mutant and its wild-type counterpart were grown in water (no stress) or PEG6000 (osmotic stress) treatments under white light (60 μmol m−2 s-1) or from low to high blue light fluence (1, 5, 10, 15 and 25 μmol m−2 s-1). We first demonstrate that under nonstress conditions cry1a regulates seedling growth by mechanisms that involve pigmentation, lipid peroxidation and osmoprotectant accumulation in a blue light-dependent manner. In addition, we further highlighted under osmotic stress conditions that cry1a increased tomato growth by reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) and proline accumulation. Although blue light is an environmental signal that influences osmotic stress responses mediated by tomato cry1a, specific blue light fluence rates are required during these responses. Here, we show that CRY1a manipulation may be a potential biotechnological target to develop a drought-tolerant tomato variety. Nevertheless, the complete understanding of this phenomenon requires further investigation.