Light Regulates Plant Alternative Splicing through the Control of Transcriptional Elongation

Micaela A. Godoy Herz, M. Guillermina Kubaczka, Grzegorz Brzyżek, Lucas Servi, Michal Krzyszton, Craig Simpson, John Brown, Szymon Swiezewski, Ezequiel Petrillo, Alberto R. Kornblihtt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Light makes carbon fixation possible, allowing plant and animal life on Earth. We have previously shown that light regulates alternative splicing in plants. Light initiates a chloroplast retrograde signaling that regulates nuclear alternative splicing of a subset of Arabidopsis thaliana transcripts. Here, we show that light promotes RNA polymerase II (Pol II) elongation in the affected genes, whereas in darkness, elongation is lower. These changes in transcription are consistent with elongation causing the observed changes in alternative splicing, as revealed by different drug treatments and genetic evidence. The light control of splicing and elongation is abolished in an Arabidopsis mutant defective in the transcription factor IIS (TFIIS). We report that the chloroplast control of nuclear alternative splicing in plants responds to the kinetic coupling mechanism found in mammalian cells, providing unique evidence that coupling is important for a whole organism to respond to environmental cues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1074.e3
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number5
Early online date17 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2019


  • alternative splicing
  • light control in plants
  • transcription elongation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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