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J Exp Bot. 2009;60(9):2501-15. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erp139. Epub 2009 May 4.

At the end of the day: a common molecular mechanism for photoperiod responses in plants?

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Department of Evolutionary Functional Genomics, Uppsala University, Norbyv. 18D, SE 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.


Photoperiod or daylength affects a diverse set of traits in plants, including flowering and tuberization in annuals, as well as growth cessation and bud set in perennials. During the last 10-15 years, great progress has been made in the understanding of molecular mechanisms controlling photoperiodic induction of flowering, in particular in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana. An obvious question is to what extent the molecular mechanisms revealed in A. thaliana are also shared by other species and other traits controlled by photoperiod. The purpose of this review is to summarize data on the molecular mechanisms of photoperiod control in plants with a focus of annual growth rhythm in perennial plants.

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