Plants utilize circadian clocks to synchronize their physiological and developmental events with daily and yearly changes in the environment. Recent advances in Arabidopsis research have provided a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the circadian clock and photoperiodism. One of the most important questions is whether the mechanisms discovered in Arabidopsis are conserved in other plant species. Through the identification of many Arabidopsis clock gene homologs and the characterization of some gene functions, a strong resemblance between the circadian clocks in plants has been observed. On the contrary, based on our recent increased knowledge of photoperiodic flowering mechanisms in cereals and other plants, the day-length sensing mechanisms appear to have diverged more between long-day plants and short-day plants.
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