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What makes the Arabidopsis clock tick on time? A review on entrainment


, : What makes the Arabidopsis clock tick on time? A review on entrainment. Plant cell and environment 28(1): 21-38

Entrainment, the synchronization of a circadian clock with the external environment, is a crucial step in daily life. Although many signals contribute to entrainment, light and temperature are typically the strongest resetting cues. Much progress has been made concerning light resetting in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Multiple photoreceptors (phytochromes, cryptochromes, LOV-domain proteins) are involved in light perception. The clock genes CCA1, LHY and TOC1 are all probable targets of light signalling, although the details of these pathways are not completely established. Temperature can entrain the clock, but little is known about the mechanism underlying this resetting; no obvious clock gene candidate for temperature resetting has been identified. Although circadian research has emphasized oscillations in free-running conditions, in the real world the circadian clock is entrained. During entrainment, short or long period mutants exhibit a 24-h period, but a mutant phenotype is often manifested as an altered phase relationship with the entraining cycle; short and long period mutants show leading and lagging phases, respectively, and this may be detrimental under some conditions. Arrhythmic CCA1-overexpressing plants display increased lethality under very short photoperiods, consistent with the circadian clock being of adaptive significance to life on a rotating world.

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2004.01261.x


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