Abiotic stress and the plant circadian clock


In this review, we focus on the interaction between the circadian clock of higher plants to that of metabolic and physiological processes that coordinate growth and performance under a predictable, albeit changing environment. In this, the phytochrome and cryptochrome photoreceptors have shown to be important, but not essential for oscillator control under diurnal cycles of light and dark. From this foundation, we will examine how emerging findings have firmly linked the circadian clock, as a central mediator in the coordination of metabolism, to maintain homeostasis. This occurs by oscillator synchronization of global transcription, which leads to a dynamic control of a host of physiological processes. These include the determination of the levels of primary and secondary metabolites, and the anticipation of future environmental stresses, such as mid-day drought and midnight coldness. Interestingly, metabolic and stress cues themselves appear to feedback on oscillator function. In such a way, the circadian clock of plants and abiotic-stress tolerance appear to be firmly interconnected processes.

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Abiotic stress and the plant circadian clock