Recent developments in phototropin biology have provided exciting new findings on the roles of these photoreceptor proteins in plants. Much of the recent work has focused on phototropin photochemistry and the structural alterations in both the chromophoric and peptide components of the molecule associated with light perception. In this review, specific aspects of phototropin action in higher plants will be discussed in the context of these new findings. Although, as their name suggests, phototropins play a key role in phototropic responses in plants, increasing evidence shows they have many other functions in plants. In this review, the roles of phototropins in additional plant “movement” responses will be addressed; in particular their roles in stomatal aperture control and chloroplast movements. In discussing these various movement responses special attention will be given to identified and hypothesized downstream signaling partners or events that enable the phototropins to selectively participate in any one or more of these responses in a given light condition.
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Vol. 81 • No. 1