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Crop Biotech Update

Clock Factor ELF4 Recruits ELF3 in the Nucleus to Sustain the Circadian Clock

April 20, 2012

The plant circadian clock is modeled as a network of numerous interconnected feedback loops, and the loss of any part could lead to changes in oscillator speed. In an earlier study conducted by Seth Davis from Max Planck Institute of Plant Breeding Research, the gene called EARLY FLOWERING4 (ELF4) in Arabidopsis was found to be vital in sustaining the oscillator. The elf4 mutant became arrhythmic. This phenotype is shared with other genes known as elf 3 and lux.

In their recent study, the researchers show that overexpression of either elf 3 or lux complements the elf4 mutant phenotype. They also observed that ELF4 causes ELF 3 to build foci in the nucleus. The expression data of elf3 revealed that it has direct effects on the morning gene clock gene PRR9. Further analyses confirmed that ELF4, ELF3, and LUX are important to sustain the circadian rhythms of plants.

Read the abstract at http://www.plantcell.org/content/24/2/428.abstract.