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BIG regulates dynamic adjustment of circadian period in Arabidopsis thaliana

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Marti, Maria Carmen 
Abdul-Awal, SM 
Wimalasekera, R 
Stanton, CR 


Circadian clocks drive rhythms with a period near 24 h, though the molecular basis of the regulation of circadian period is little understood. We have demonstrated previously that metabolites affect the free-running period of the circadian oscillator of Arabidopsis thaliana, with endogenous sugars acting as an accelerator and exogenous nicotinamide acting as a brake. Changes in circadian oscillator period are thought to adjust the timing of biological activities through the process of entrainment, in which the circadian oscillator becomes synchronised to rhythmic signals such as light and dark cycles, and changes in internal metabolism. To identify molecular components associated with the dynamic adjustment of circadian period we performed a forward genetic screen. We identified mutants that were either period insensitive to nicotinamide (sin) or period oversensitive to nicotinamide (son). We mapped son1 to BIG, a gene of unknown molecular function that has previously been reported to have a role in light signalling. We found that son1 has an early entrained phase suggesting that the dynamic alteration of circadian period contributes to the correct timing of biological events. Our data provide an insight in to how dynamic period adjustment of circadian oscillators contributes to establishing a correct phase relationship with the environment and identifies that BIG is involved in this process.



Arabidopsis, Arabidopsis Proteins, Calcium, Calmodulin-Binding Proteins, Circadian Clocks, Circadian Rhythm, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Light, Plants, Genetically Modified

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Plant Physiology

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American Society of Plant Biologists
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/H006826/1)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/I015558/1)
European Commission (272186)
Isaac Newton Trust (1307(O))
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/L02182X/1)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/M006212/1)
BBSRC (1090203)