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Genes Cells. 2005 Oct;10(10):963-72.

PHYTOCLOCK 1 encoding a novel GARP protein essential for the Arabidopsis circadian clock.

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Center for Gene Research, Nagoya University, Furo, Chikusa, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan.


Previously, we screened 50 000 seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana carrying a P(GI)::LUC+ bioluminescence reporter gene mutagenized with ethylmethanesulfonate for mutants with phenotypes of extensively altered circadian rhythms, and identified three loci, PHYTOCLOCK 1 (PCL1), PCL2 and PCL3, whose mutations cause arrhythmia. Here we succeeded to clone the PCL1 gene and show that the PCL1 gene encodes a novel DNA binding protein belonging to the GARP protein family and is essential for a functional clock oscillator in A. thaliana. The PCL1 gene satisfies the requirements for the clock oscillator gene: (i) pcl1 null mutations caused arrhythmia in multiple circadian outputs, including expression of potential clock genes TOC1, CCA1 and LHY, and flowering lacked a photoperiodic response; (ii) PCL1 expression showed circadian rhythm in both constant light and constant dark; (iii) over-expression of the PCL1 gene gradually caused arrhythmicity in all the multiple circadian outputs examined; and (iv) the PCL1 gene controlled its own expression via negative feedback. Therefore, the PCL1 gene is the clock oscillator gene essential to the generation of clock oscillation in the higher plant.

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