Indexed on: 05 Aug '08Published on: 05 Aug '08Published in: Plant physiology
The "light" signal from the environment sets the circadian clock to regulate multiple physiological processes for optimal rhythmic growth and development. One such process is the control of flowering time by photoperiod perception in plants. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), the flowering time is determined by the correct interconnection of light input and signal output by the circadian clock. The identification of additional clock proteins will help to better dissect the complex nature of the circadian clock in Arabidopsis. Here, we show LIGHT-REGULATED WD1 (LWD1)/LWD2 as new clock proteins involved in photoperiod control. The lwd1lwd2 double mutant has an early-flowering phenotype, contributed by the significant phase shift of CONSTANS (CO), and, therefore, an increased expression of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) before dusk. Under entrainment conditions, the expression phase of oscillator (CIRCADIAN CLOCK ASSOCIATED1 [CCA1], LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL [LHY], TIMING OF CAB EXPRESSION1 [TOC1], and EARLY FLOWERING4 [ELF4]) and output (GIGANTEA, FLAVIN-BINDING, KELCH REPEAT, F-BOX1, CYCLING DOF FACTOR1, CO, and FT) genes in the photoperiod pathway shifts approximately 3 h forward in the lwd1lwd2 double mutant. Both the oscillator (CCA1, LHY, TOC1, and ELF4) and output (COLD, CIRCADIAN RHYTHM, AND RNA BINDING2 and CHLOROPHYLL A/B-BINDING PROTEIN2) genes have a short period length in the lwd1lwd2 double mutant. Our data imply that LWD1/LWD2 proteins function in close proximity to or within the circadian clock for photoperiodic flowering control.