Crop Biotech Update

Research Reveals Circadian Clock's Guiding Role in Plant Cell Differentiation

August 17, 2022

Researchers at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) have revealed in a study published in Cell Reports that the circadian clock plays a guiding role in plant cell differentiation.

The function of circadian clocks in the process of differentiation has been shown in many multicellular organisms, however, how plant circadian clocks regulate cell differentiation has remained unclear. The researchers isolated individual cells in tiny glass tubes and analyzed the expression of various genes related to circadian rhythms and cell differentiation in each cell. They then developed a new algorithm called PeakMatch to reconstruct actual-time gene expression patterns from the single-cell datasets.

According to Motomu Endo, senior author of the study, this powerful approach helped them demonstrate that the expression profile of clock genes is changed before cell differentiation. This happens specifically in early differentiating cells, as the induction of the clock gene LUX ARRYTHMO directly targets genes involved in cell-cycle progression to regulate cell differentiation.

For more details, download the open access paper in Cell Reports.

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