Mar 17, 2015

Circadian Clock Genes Universally Control Key Agricultural Traits

Molecular Plant
Claire BendixFrank G Harmon


Circadian clocks are endogenous timers that enable plants to synchronize biological processes with daily and seasonal environmental conditions in order to allocate resources during the most beneficial times of day and year. The circadian clock regulates a number of central plant activities, including growth, development, and reproduction, primarily through controlling a substantial proportion of transcriptional activity and protein function. This review examines the roles that alleles of circadian clock genes have played in domestication and improvement of crop plants. The focus here is on three groups of circadian clock genes essential to clock function in Arabidopsis thaliana: PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATORs, GIGANTEA, and the evening complex genes early flowering 3, early flowering 4, and lux arrhythmo. homologous genes from each group underlie quantitative trait loci that have beneficial influences on key agricultural traits, especially flowering time but also yield, biomass, and biennial growth habit. Emerging insights into circadian clock regulation of other fundamental plant processes, including responses to abiotic and biotic stresses, are discussed to highlight promising avenues for further crop improvement.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Carica papaya
Metabolic Process, Cellular
Raphanus sativus
Brassica oleracea
PRR3 gene
Biochemical Pathway
Protein Complex Subunit Gene
Beta vulgaris antigen
Quantitative Trait Loci
Sorghum bicolor

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