The interactions between the circadian clock and primary metabolism

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2012 Jun;15(3):293-300. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2012.01.013. Epub 2012 Feb 2.


Primary metabolism in plants is tightly regulated by environmental factors such as light and nutrient availability at multiple levels. The circadian clock is a self-sustained endogenous oscillator that enables organisms to predict daily and seasonal changes. The regulation of primary metabolism by the circadian clock has been proposed to explain the importance of circadian rhythms in plant growth and survival. Recent transcriptomic and metabolomic analyses indicate a wide spread circadian regulation of different metabolic processes. We review evidence of circadian regulation of pathways in primary metabolism, discuss the challenges faced for discerning the mechanisms regulating circadian metabolic oscillations and present recent evidence of regulation of the circadian clock by metabolites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Circadian Clocks*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Genetic
  • Plant Development
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plants / metabolism*


  • Plant Proteins