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J Exp Bot. 2010 Jun;61(6):1751-9. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erq049. Epub 2010 Mar 18.

Diel time-courses of leaf growth in monocot and dicot species: endogenous rhythms and temperature effects.

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ICG-3 (Phytosphere), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, D-52425 Jülich, Germany.


Diel (24 h) leaf growth patterns were differently affected by temperature variations and the circadian clock in several plant species. In the monocotyledon Zea mays, leaf elongation rate closely followed changes in temperature. In the dicotyledons Nicotiana tabacum, Ricinus communis, and Flaveria bidentis, the effect of temperature regimes was less obvious and leaf growth exhibited a clear circadian oscillation. These differences were related neither to primary metabolism nor to altered carbohydrate availability for growth. The effect of endogenous rhythms on leaf growth was analysed under continuous light in Arabidopsis thaliana, Ricinus communis, Zea mays, and Oryza sativa. No rhythmic growth was observed under continuous light in the two monocotyledons, while growth rhythmicity persisted in the two dicotyledons. Based on model simulations it is concluded that diel leaf growth patterns in mono- and dicotyledons result from the additive effects of both circadian-clock-controlled processes and responses to environmental changes such as temperature and evaporative demand. Apparently very distinct diel leaf growth behaviour of monocotyledons and dicotyledons can thus be explained by the different degrees to which diel temperature variations affect leaf growth in the two groups of species which, in turn, depends on the extent of the leaf growth control by internal clocks.

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