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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Study Coupling of Biological Clock and Cells in Plants

April 27, 2012

In animals, the circadian clocks govern the daily rhythms which are strongly linked to cellular processes.  In contrast, clocks in plant cells appeared to be coupled weakly if not absent. Elucidating this kind of association is important in understanding the behavior and physiology of circadian clocks.

Researcher Bénédicte Wenden from the University of Edinburgh in UK and colleagues developed imaging and analysis methods to investigate circadian coupling in plants using luciferase reporter gene expression in Arabidopsis leaves. Their findings showed that circadian rhythms became desynchronized among cells when exposed to constant light conditions. Their desynchronization was brought about by the emergence of spatiotemporal patterns.

The team also tested the significance of intercellular coupling relative to synchronization by the light-dark cycle. Results showed that the light entrainment dominates plant circadian behavior under laboratory conditions.

Read the abstract at http://www.pnas.org/content/109/17/6757.abstract.