Short- and Long-Term Effects of UVA on Arabidopsis Are Mediated by a Novel cGMP Phosphodiesterase

Under a Creative Commons license
open access


UVA inhibits stomatal opening, and this requires a reduction in the cytosolic cGMP

UVA-induced decrease in cGMP was caused by a cGMP phosphodiesterase (AtcnPDE1)

UVA radiation increased growth and decreased water use efficiency

cnPDE1 is ancient and has been lost from animal lineages


Although UVA radiation (315–400 nm) represents 95% of the UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface, surprisingly little is known about its effects on plants [1]. We show that in Arabidopsis, short-term exposure to UVA inhibits the opening of stomata, and this requires a reduction in the cytosolic level of cGMP. This process is independent of UVR8, the UVB receptor. A cGMP-activated phosphodiesterase (AtCN-PDE1) was responsible for the UVA-induced decrease in cGMP in Arabidopsis. AtCN-PDE1-like proteins form a clade within the large HD-domain/PDEase-like protein superfamily, but no eukaryotic members of this subfamily have been functionally characterized. These genes have been lost from the genomes of metazoans but are otherwise conserved as single-copy genes across the tree of life. In longer-term experiments, UVA radiation increased growth and decreased water-use efficiency. These experiments revealed that PDE1 is also a negative regulator of growth. As the PDE1 gene is ancient and not represented in animal lineages, it is likely that at least one element of cGMP signaling in plants has evolved differently to the system present in metazoans.


guard cell signaling
light signaling
Arabidopsis, evolution
cyclic nucleotides
water-use efficiency

Lead Contact

View Abstract