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LIGHT-REGULATED WD1 and PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATOR9 Form a Positive Feedback Regulatory Loop in the Arabidopsis Circadian Clock

Wang, Ying, Wu, Jing-Fen, Nakamichi, Norihito, Sakakibara, Hitoshi, Nam, Hong-Gil, Wu, Shu-Hsing
The plant cell 2011 v.23 no.2 pp. 486-498
Arabidopsis thaliana, circadian rhythm, flowering, genes, inputs, mutants, proteins
In Arabidopsis thaliana, central circadian clock genes constitute several feedback loops. These interlocking loops generate an approximately 24-h oscillation that enables plants to anticipate the daily diurnal environment. The identification of additional clock proteins can help dissect the complex nature of the circadian clock. Previously, LIGHT-REGULATED WD1 (LWD1) and LWD2 were identified as two clock proteins regulating circadian period length and photoperiodic flowering. Here, we systematically studied the function of LWD1/2 in the Arabidopsis circadian clock. Analysis of the lwd1 lwd2 double mutant revealed that LWD1/2 plays dual functions in the light input pathway and the regulation of the central oscillator. Promoter:luciferase fusion studies showed that activities of LWD1/2 promoters are rhythmic and depend on functional PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATOR9 (PRR9) and PRR7. LWD1/2 is also needed for the expression of PRR9, PRR7, and PRR5. LWD1 is preferentially localized within the nucleus and associates with promoters of PRR9, PRR5, and TOC1 in vivo. Our results support the existence of a positive feedback loop within the Arabidopsis circadian clock. Further mechanistic studies of this positive feedback loop and its regulatory effects on the other clock components will further elucidate the complex nature of the Arabidopsis circadian clock.