Indexed on: 20 Jun '13Published on: 20 Jun '13Published in: Plant, Cell & Environment
The circadian clock is an endogenous 24 h oscillator regulating many critical biological processes in plants. One of the key characteristics of the circadian clock is that it is buffered against temperature, maintaining an approximately 24 h rhythm over a broad physiological temperature range. Here, we tested temperature-buffering capacity of the circadian clock across a number of Arabidopsis accessions using several circadian clock reporters: leaf movement, CCA1:LUC and LHY:LUC. We found that leaf movement was the best temperature buffered circadian output. On the other hand, when temperature increases, circadian rhythms of CCA1 and LHY transcription shorten considerably across all accessions, indicating that the clock driving expression of CCA1 and LHY is not perfectly buffered. This feature might be crucial to plants growing in a constantly changing environment, and here, we provide insight into the importance of period shortening to plant growth performance and the benefits of a flexible clock.