Thermal imaging as a noninvasive technique for analyzing circadian rhythms in plants

Yuri Dakhiya, Rachel M. Green*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Endogenous (˜24 circadian) rhythms control an enormously diverse range of processes in plants and are, increasingly, the target of studies aimed at understanding plant performance. Although in the previous few decades most plant circadian research has focused on Arabidopsis, there is a pressing need for low-cost, high-throughput tools for analyzing rhythms in a wider variety of species. The present contribution investigates using circadian temperature oscillations as a novel marker for assaying plant circadian rhythms. A thermal imaging platform was set up to measure diel and circadian rhythms in different plant species, in wild-type and circadian mutant plants, and in leaves and flowers. Results from the thermal imaging technique were compared with those from other established circadian assay techniques. All of the dicot and monocot species examined showed robust circadian rhythms of leaf surface temperature; the effects of circadian mutations on thermocycles were similar to those reported using other techniques. In Petunia × atkinsiana plants circadian oscillations were observed in both leaves and flowers. Thermal imaging is an extremely useful technique for analyzing circadian rhythms in plants. It is predicted that the ability to make very high temporal resolution measurements may facilitate the discovery of novel aspects of circadian control.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1685-1696
Number of pages12
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2019 New Phytologist Trust


  • Arabidopsis
  • CCA1
  • barley
  • circadian
  • maize
  • petunia
  • stomata
  • thermal


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