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Cryptochromes: Blue Light Receptors for Plants and Animals

Cryptochromes are blue, ultraviolet-A photoreceptors. They were first characterized for Arabidopsis and are also found in ferns and algae; they appear to be ubiquitous in the plant kingdom. They are flavoproteins similar in sequence to photolyases, their presumptive evolutionary ancestors. Sequence comparison indicates that the plant and animal cryptochrome families have distinct evolutionary histories, with the plant cryptochromes being of ancient evolutionary origin and the animal cryptochromes having evolved relatively recently. This process of repeated evolution may have coincided with the origin in animals of a modified circadian clock based on the PERIOD, TIMELESS, CLOCK, and CYCLE proteins.

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Resource Type: Journal article/Issue, Illustration, Review
Audience Level: Undergraduate lower division 13-14, Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Continuing education

Author and Copyright


Authors and Editors: Anthony R. Cashmore of Plant Science Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Jose A. Jarillo of Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Ying-Jie Wu of Plant Science Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Dongmei Liu of Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania
Publisher: AAAS
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: No

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Collection:
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