The circadian clock and plant immunity in wheat


Frick M, Masic T, Cradduck M, Harvey C, Jiang F, Foroud N, Graf RJ, Laurie JD, Laroche A. 2020. The circadian clock and plant immunity in wheat. Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting (Virtual) of the Plant Pathology Society of Alberta, Lethbridge, AB 2020/11/04 - 2020/11/05.

Plain language summary

Identification of genes involved in plant protection that are differentially regulated by the core circadian clock genes.


The plant circadian clock functions to optimize cellular processes and physiological reactions with respect to light/dark cycle and seasonal changes within a 24 h cycle. Diverse physiological pathways are connected to the circadian clock (CC) and increasing evidence indicates that the plant immune responses are also connected to the circadian clock. Maximal jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA) accumulations occur at midday and midnight respectively. Cross talk between JA and SA signalling is an important part of plant defence against different pathogens. The plant must be ready to respond with peak expression of defence genes concordant with the time of pathogen attack. Generally, higher SA levels are needed for resistance to biotrophic pathogens and higher JA levels promote resistance to necrotrophic pathogens and insect herbivores. We are studying gene expression over 12 times points from ZT1 to ZT23 within a 24 h cycle in the susceptible wheat cultivar Fielder to determine the expression of core clock genes and other transcripts that may be regulated by the circadian clock with the overall goal of modulating the CC to improve wheat resilience to changing climatic conditions. As part of this gene expression study, we will present the response of genes in the JA and SA pathways to see the potential role of the circadian clock in the plant immune response in wheat.