Circadian rhythms in plants

Creux and Harmer 2019, Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology


The circadian oscillator is a complex network of interconnected feedback loops that regulates a wide range of physiological processes. Indeed, variation in clock genes has been implicated in an array of plant environmental adaptations, including growth regulation, photoperiodic control of flowering, and responses to abiotic and biotic stress. Although the clock is buffered against the environment, maintaining roughly 24-h rhythms across a wide range of conditions, it can also be reset by environmental cues such as acute changes in light or temperature. These competing demands may help explain the complexity of the links between the circadian clock network and environmental response pathways. Here, we discuss our current understanding of the clock and its interactions with light and temperature-signaling pathways. We also describe different clock gene alleles that have been implicated in the domestication of important staple crops.