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Researchers Find Link Between Plant Metabolism and Biological Clock

Circadian clocks are biological clocks that anticipate the day-night cycle, timing various metabolic processes in living organisms. University of Cambridge scientist, Neil Dalchau, and colleagues report sensitivity of the Arabidopsis thaliana circadian oscillator to sucrose, which could be a proof that plant metabolism can regulate the circadian mechanism. They observed that the circadian system of Arabidopsis is particularly sensitive to sucrose in the dark. This indicates that there is feedback between the molecular components of the circadian oscillator and plant metabolism wherein the biological clock is both regulating and being regulated by this metabolism.

Circadian clock components' sensitivity to sucrose was also analyzed and it was found that the oscillator gene GIGANTEA (GI) is associated with sucrose sensing. Thus, GI is a component of the sucrose-signaling network and allows metabolic input in circadian timing in Arabidopsis.

The open-access article of this study can be downloaded from


This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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