ELF4 is required for oscillatory properties of the circadian clock

Harriet G McWatters, Elsebeth Kolmos, Anthony Hall, Mark R Doyle, Richard M Amasino, Péter Gyula, Ferenc Nagy, Andrew J Millar, Seth J Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Circadian clocks are required to coordinate metabolism and physiology with daily changes in the environment. Such clocks have several distinctive features, including a free-running rhythm of approximately 24 h and the ability to entrain to both light or temperature cycles (zeitgebers). We have previously characterized the EARLY FLOWERING4 (ELF4) locus of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) as being important for robust rhythms. Here, it is shown that ELF4 is necessary for at least two core clock functions: entrainment to an environmental cycle and rhythm sustainability under constant conditions. We show that elf4 demonstrates clock input defects in light responsiveness and in circadian gating. Rhythmicity in elf4 could be driven by an environmental cycle, but an increased sensitivity to light means the circadian system of elf4 plants does not entrain normally. Expression of putative core clock genes and outputs were characterized in various ELF4 backgrounds to establish the molecular network of action. ELF4 was found to be intimately associated with the CIRCADIAN CLOCK-ASSOCIATED1 (CCA1)/LONG ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL (LHY)-TIMING OF CAB EXPRESSION1 (TOC1) feedback loop because, under free run, ELF4 is required to regulate the expression of CCA1 and TOC1 and, further, elf4 is locked in the evening phase of this feedback loop. ELF4, therefore, can be considered a component of the central CCA1/LHY-TOC1 feedback loop in the plant circadian clock.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-401
Number of pages11
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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