Blue Elephants

R.G. Walters mbrgw at
Fri Jul 30 05:19:04 EST 1993

In article <1993Jul30.093445.15227 at> ajt at writes:
>: >I've just read Kaufman (1993) Update on blue-light signal transduction,
>: >Plant Physiol, 102, 333-337.  I found the discussion very interesting
>: >and provocative!  If you've not read it already I would recommend it.
>I was especially interested in:
>1. blue light receptors vs. phtochrome
>2. blue light and proton extrusion
>3. blue elephants: none yet!
>I think the issues raised would be interesting to discuss here on
>bionet.plants and we could begin with the assertion that blue light is
>merely a trigger, not a source of energy for ATP-independant
>ion-transport processes in response to irradiation by blue light.
>The consensus of opinion now is that blue light *is* just a trigger,
>but I'm not sure I believe it.  Does anyone else have comments about
>this, or other issues raised in Kaufman's paper?

There's been some stuff coming out of Briggs's group in the last couple of
years (Plant Physiology 100, 655-661) showing blue-light specific
phosphorylation of a plasma membrane protein.  He seems to think that
this is probably (part of) a blue elephant (it's big - over 100kDa).
If you want to see a blue elephant, I should look to Briggs.

Robin Walters.                      Robert Hill Institute, Sheffield UK.

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