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Plant Physiol. 2007 Jan;143(1):473-86. Epub 2006 Nov 10.

GIGANTEA acts in blue light signaling and has biochemically separable roles in circadian clock and flowering time regulation.

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Section of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.

Erratum in

  • Plant Physiol. 2010 May;153(1):364.


Circadian clocks are widespread in nature. In higher plants, they confer a selective advantage, providing information regarding not only time of day but also time of year. Forward genetic screens in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) have led to the identification of many clock components, but the functions of most of these genes remain obscure. To identify both new constituents of the circadian clock and new alleles of known clock-associated genes, we performed a mutant screen. Using a clock-regulated luciferase reporter, we isolated new alleles of ZEITLUPE, LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL, and GIGANTEA (GI). GI has previously been reported to function in red light signaling, central clock function, and flowering time regulation. Characterization of this and other GI alleles has helped us to further define GI function in the circadian system. We found that GI acts in photomorphogenic and circadian blue light signaling pathways and is differentially required for clock function in constant red versus blue light. Gene expression and epistasis analyses show that TIMING OF CHLOROPHYLL A/B BINDING PROTEIN1 (TOC1) expression is not solely dependent upon GI and that GI expression is only indirectly affected by TOC1, suggesting that GI acts both in series with and in parallel to TOC1 within the central circadian oscillator. Finally, we found that the GI-dependent promotion of CONSTANS expression and flowering is intact in a gi mutant with altered circadian regulation. Thus GI function in the regulation of a clock output can be biochemically separated from its role within the circadian clock.

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