Circadian entrainment in Arabidopsis.
Circadian clocks coordinate physiology and development as an adaption to the oscillating day/night cycle caused by the rotation of Earth on its axis and the changing length of day and night away from the equator caused by orbiting the sun. Circadian clocks confer advantages by entraining to rhythmic environmental cycles to ensure that internal events within the plant occur at the correct time with respect to the cyclic external environment. Advances in determining the structure of circadian oscillators and the pathways that allow them to respond to light, temperature, and metabolic signals have begun to provide a mechanistic insight to the process of entrainment in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We describe the concepts of entrainment and how it occurs. It is likely that a thorough mechanistic understanding of the genetic and physiological basis of circadian entrainment will provide opportunities for crop improvement.
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