Authors: Wei Wei Chen, Nozomu Takahashi, Yoshito Hirata, James Ronald, Silvana Porco, Seth J. Davis, Dmitri A. Nusinow, Steve A. Kay & Paloma Mas


  • Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG), CSIC-IRTA-UAB-UB, Campus UAB, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
  • Mathematics and Informatics Center, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • Faculty of Engineering, Information and Systems, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan
  • Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK
  • Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Key Laboratory of Plant Stress Biology, School of Life Sciences, Henan University, Kaifeng, China
  • Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St. Louis, MO, USA
  • Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
  • Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Barcelona, Spain

Publication: Nature Plants

Date: April, 2020

Full paper: A mobile ELF4 delivers circadian temperature information from shoots to roots


The circadian clock is synchronized by environmental cues, mostly by light and temperature. Explaining how the plant circadian clock responds to temperature oscillations is crucial to understanding plant responsiveness to the environment. Here, we found a prevalent temperature-dependent function of the Arabidopsis clock component EARLY FLOWERING 4 (ELF4) in the root clock. Although the clocks in roots are able to run in the absence of shoots, micrografting assays and mathematical analyses show that ELF4 moves from shoots to regulate rhythms in roots. ELF4 movement does not convey photoperiodic information, but trafficking is essential for controlling the period of the root clock in a temperature-dependent manner. Low temperatures favour ELF4 mobility, resulting in a slow-paced root clock, whereas high temperatures decrease movement, leading to a faster clock. Hence, the mobile ELF4 delivers temperature information and establishes a shoot-to-root dialogue that sets the pace of the clock in roots.