Role of the circadian clock in cold acclimation and winter dormancy in perennial plants
In "Advances in dormancy", 2015, Ed Anderson J, Springer New York
Johansson M, Ramos-Sánchez JM, Conde D, Ibáñez C, Takata N, Allona I, Eriksson ME
Seasonal variation is a strong cue directing the growth and development of plants. It is particularly important for perennials growing in temperate and boreal regions where woody plants must become dormant to survive freezing winter temperatures. Shortening of the photoperiod induces growth cessation, bud set and a first degree of cold acclimation in most woody plants. The subsequent drop in temperature then produces a greater tolerance to cold and, in deciduous trees, leaf senescence and fall. Trees must time their periods of dormancy accurately with their environment. Circadian clocks underlie this ability, allowing organisms to predict regular, daily changes in their environment as well as longer term seasonal changes. This chapter provides an update on the plant clock in a model annual, thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), and further summarizes recent advances about the clock in perennial plants and its involvement in their annual growth cycles, which allows trees to withstand cold and freezing temperatures. Moreover, we outline our views on areas where future work on the circadian clock is necessary to gain insight into the life of a tree.
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