Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Plant circadian networks and responses to the environment

Chenjerai I. Muchapirei A , Shannon-Leigh Valentine A and Laura C. Roden A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

B Corresponding author. Email: laura.roden@uct.ac.za

Functional Plant Biology - https://doi.org/10.1071/FP17150
Submitted: 26 May 2017  Accepted: 26 October 2017   Published online: 20 November 2017

Abstract

There are regular, and therefore predictable, environmental changes on Earth due to the rotation of the planet on its axis and its orbit around the sun. Thus organisms have adapted their metabolism, physiology and behaviour to minimise stresses caused by unfavourable conditions and maximise efficiency of growth. Additionally, most organisms are able to anticipate these changes and accordingly maximise metabolic efficiency and growth, because they have a complex biological time-keeping system commonly referred to as the circadian clock. Multiple pathways in plants are organised in a temporal manner through circadian clock-regulation of gene transcription and post-translational modifications. What is becoming more apparent is the bidirectional nature of interactions between the clock and stress response pathways. Until recently, the focus of many studies had been on the unidirectional, hierarchical control of biological processes by the circadian clock, and impacts on the clock in response to environmental stress had been largely ignored. Studies of interactions of the circadian clock with the environment have primarily been to understand mechanisms of entrainment. We review the evidence and implications of the reciprocal interactions between the clock and the environment.

Additional keywords: biotic stress, drought stress, mineral status, starch, temperature stress.


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