PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTORS mediate metabolic control of the circadian system in Arabidopsis

Ekaterina Shor, Inyup Paik, Shlomit Kangisser, Rachel Green*, Enamul Huq

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The circadian (c. 24 h) system has a central role in regulating the timing and coordination of photosynthesis, and in turn photosynthesis and photosynthetic products which are controlled by the circadian clock feedback to affect the circadian oscillator that generates rhythms. However, little is known about the mechanism(s) by which this feedback occurs. One group of likely candidates for signal transduction to the circadian clock are the PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR (PIF) family of transcription factors which have been shown to be involved in numerous signaling pathways in Arabidopsis. Yet despite evidence that some PIF genes are under circadian control and bind promoter motifs present in circadian genes, until now PIFs have not been shown to affect the circadian system. Using a range of techniques, we have examined how circadian rhythms are affected in higher order pif mutants and the mechanisms by which PIFs regulate signaling to the circadian clock. We show that PIFs mediate metabolic signals to the circadian oscillator and that sucrose directly affects PIF binding to the promoters of key circadian oscillator genes in vivo that may entrain the oscillator. Our results provide a basis for understanding the mechanism for metabolic signaling to the circadian system in Arabidopsis.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)217-228
Number of pages12
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust


  • Arabidopsis
  • circadian clock
  • light signaling
  • metabolism
  • photosynthesis
  • sucrose


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