Biotech Updates

Study Reveals Plant Response to Heat Stress Fluctuates Between Day and Night

December 21, 2016

A new study led by Zhiyong Wang at Carnegie Institution for Science has identified the system by which plants regulate their response to heat differently between daytime and nighttime.

The protein called Phytochrome Interacting Factor 4 (PIF4) is crucial in coordinating plant response to high temperature by activating genes that help the plant deal with heat stress, but it only seems to be active during daylight hours. Wang and his research team found that PIF4's daytime activity is regulated by another protein called Timing of CAB Expression 1 (TOC1), which is a part of the biological circadian clock proteins that accumulate at the end of the day. TOC1 binds to PIF4 and inhibits its activity in the evening throughout the night. The disappearance of TOC1 at dawn allows PIF4 to respond to warm temperature in the morning.

For more details, read the news release at Carnegie Science.