Research ArticleBIOLOGICAL RHYTHMS

Multicellularity enriches the entrainment of Arabidopsis circadian clock

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Science Advances  04 Oct 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 10, e1700808
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700808

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Abstract

The phase response curve (PRC) of the circadian clock provides one of the most significant indices for anticipating entrainment of outer cycles, despite the difficulty of making precise PRC determinations in experiments. We characterized the PRC of the Arabidopsis thaliana circadian clock on the basis of its phase-locking property to variable periodic pulse perturbations. Experiments revealed that the PRC changed remarkably from continuous to discontinuous fashion, depending on the oscillation amplitude. Our hypothesis of amplitude-dependent adaptability to outer cycles was successfully clarified by elucidation of this transition of PRC as a change in the collective response of the circadian oscillator network. These findings provide an essential criterion against which to evaluate the precision of PRC measurement and an advanced understanding of the adaptability of plant circadian systems to environmental conditions.

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