Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2010 Sep 23;5(9):e12887. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012887.

Maize global transcriptomics reveals pervasive leaf diurnal rhythms but rhythms in developing ears are largely limited to the core oscillator.

Author information

Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Johnston, Iowa, United States of America.



Plant diurnal rhythms are vital environmental adaptations to coordinate internal physiological responses to alternating day-night cycles. A comprehensive view of diurnal biology has been lacking for maize (Zea mays), a major world crop.


A photosynthetic tissue, the leaf, and a non-photosynthetic tissue, the developing ear, were sampled under natural field conditions. Genome-wide transcript profiling was conducted on a high-density 105 K Agilent microarray to investigate diurnal rhythms.


In both leaves and ears, the core oscillators were intact and diurnally cycling. Maize core oscillator genes are found to be largely conserved with their Arabidopsis counterparts. Diurnal gene regulation occurs in leaves, with some 23% of expressed transcripts exhibiting a diurnal cycling pattern. These transcripts can be assigned to over 1700 gene ontology functional terms, underscoring the pervasive impact of diurnal rhythms on plant biology. Considering the peak expression time for each diurnally regulated gene, and its corresponding functional assignment, most gene functions display temporal enrichment in the day, often with distinct patterns, such as dawn or midday preferred, indicating that there is a staged procession of biological events undulating with the diurnal cycle. Notably, many gene functions display a bimodal enrichment flanking the midday photosynthetic maximum, with an initial peak in mid-morning followed by another peak during the afternoon/evening. In contrast to leaves, in developing ears as few as 47 gene transcripts are diurnally regulated, and this set of transcripts includes primarily the core oscillators. In developing ears, which are largely shielded from light, the core oscillator therefore is intact with little outward effect on transcription.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center