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New Phytol. 2009;181(3):517-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2008.02681.x.

Plant responses to photoperiod.

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Warwick HRI, University of Warwick, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire CV35 9EF, UK.


Photoperiod controls many developmental responses in animals, plants and even fungi. The response to photoperiod has evolved because daylength is a reliable indicator of the time of year, enabling developmental events to be scheduled to coincide with particular environmental conditions. Much progress has been made towards understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the response to photoperiod in plants. These mechanisms include the detection of the light signal in the leaves, the entrainment of circadian rhythms, and the production of a mobile signal which is transmitted throughout the plant. Flowering, tuberization and bud set are just a few of the many different responses in plants that are under photoperiodic control. Comparison of what is known of the molecular mechanisms controlling these responses shows that, whilst common components exist, significant differences in the regulatory mechanisms have evolved between these responses.

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