Seaton DD, Smith RW, Song YH, MacGregor DR, Stewart K, Steel G, Foreman J, Penfield S, Imaizumi T, Millar AJ, Halliday KJ
Clock-regulated pathways coordinate the response of many developmental processes to changes in photoperiod and temperature. We model two of the best-understood clock output pathways in Arabidopsis, which control key regulators of flowering and elongation growth. In flowering, the model predicted regulatory links from the clock to CYCLING DOF FACTOR 1 (CDF1) and FLAVIN-BINDING, KELCH REPEAT, F-BOX 1 (FKF1) transcription. Physical interaction data support these links, which create threefold feed-forward motifs from two clock components to the floral regulator FT. In hypocotyl growth, the model described clock-regulated transcription of PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 4 and 5 (PIF4, PIF5), interacting with post-translational regulation of PIF proteins by phytochrome B (phyB) and other light-activated pathways. The model predicted bimodal and end-of-day PIF activity profiles that are observed across hundreds of PIF-regulated target genes. In the response to temperature, warmth-enhanced PIF4 activity explained the observed hypocotyl growth dynamics but additional, temperature-dependent regulators were implicated in the flowering response. Integrating these two pathways with the clock model highlights the molecular mechanisms that coordinate plant development across changing conditions.