The absorption maximum of the far-red absorbing form of phytochrome in the difference spectrum for phototransformation (Pfr λmax) was investigated in vivo and in in vitro pellets from dark grown Hordeum vulgare L. primary leaves. Exposure of pellets in Honda medium from tissue pre-irradiated with red light to far red light gave a Pfr λmax of 734 nm, a slightly longer wavelength than was seen in vivo (730 nm). After incubation as the red absorbing form of phytochrome (Pr) for 2 h at 0° C irradiation with red light showed that Pfr λmax had shifted to shorter wavelength (716 nm) in Honda medium. Further incubation as Pfr for 2 h at 0° C and irradiation with far red light showed that Pfr λmax had shifted to longer wavelength (726 nm). Similar shifts were also seen in other media, although the peak positions were different. Phytochrome remained pelletable throughout these experiments and Pfr λmax is compared to that of soluble phytochrome in similar media. The results are interpreted as indicating changes in molecular environment of the putative phytochrome membrane receptor site and that Pfr λmax can be used to probe the nature of this binding.
- Receptor site