Circadian clock and photoperiodic response in Arabidopsis: from seasonal flowering to redox homeostasis

Biochemistry. 2015 Jan 20;54(2):157-70. doi: 10.1021/bi500922q. Epub 2014 Dec 30.


Many of the developmental responses and behaviors in plants that occur throughout the year are controlled by photoperiod; among these, seasonal flowering is the most characterized. Molecular genetic and biochemical analyses have revealed the mechanisms by which plants sense changes in day length to regulate seasonal flowering. In Arabidopsis thaliana, induction of the expression of a florigen, FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) protein, is a major output of the photoperiodic flowering pathway. The circadian clock coordinates the expression profiles and activities of the components in this pathway. Light-dependent control of CONSTANS (CO) transcription factor activity is a crucial part of the induction of the photoperiodic expression of FT. CO protein is stabilized only in the long day afternoon, which is when FT is induced. In this review, we summarize recent progress in the determination of the molecular architecture of the circadian clock and mechanisms underlying photoperiodic flowering. In addition, we introduce the molecular mechanisms of other biological processes, such as hypocotyl growth and reactive oxygen species production, which are also controlled by alterations in photoperiod.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Circadian Clocks*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Flowers / genetics
  • Flowers / growth & development*
  • Flowers / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Homeostasis
  • Photoperiod
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • CONSTANS protein, Arabidopsis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • FT protein, Arabidopsis
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Transcription Factors