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Effects of different photoperiods on flower opening, flower closing and circadian expression of clock-related genes in Iris domestica and I. dichotoma


The circadian clock can entrain to forced light-dark cycles by adjusting the phases and periods of flower opening and closing in ephemeral flowers. The responses of circadian rhythms to the same light conditions differ from species. However, the differences in internal genetic mechanisms underlying the different responses between species remain unclear. Iris domestica and I. dichotoma have ephemeral flowers and significantly divergent flower opening and closing times. The effects of different photoperiods (continuous darkness, 4L20D, 8L16D, 12L12D, 16L8D, 20L4D and continuous white light) on flower opening and closing, and expression patterns of seven genes (CRYPTOCHROME 1, PHYTOCHROME B, LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL, PSEUDO RESPONSE REGULATOR 95, PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 4-like, SMUX AUXIN UP RNA 64-like and senescence-associated gene 39-like) involved in the circadian regulation of flower opening and closing were compared between I. domestica and I. dichotoma. Flower opening and closing in the two species exhibited circadian rhythms under continuous darkness (DD), but showed arrhythmia in continuous white light (LL). In the two species, keeping robust rhythms, strong synchronicity, rapid progressions of flower opening and closing and reaching full opening stage required a dark period longer than 4 h. In light-dark cycles with dark periods longer than 4 h, flower opening and closing times of the two species delayed with the delay of dawn, and the degree to which flower opening time varies with the time of dawn was greater in I. dichotoma than in I. domestica. The arrhythmia of flower opening and closing under 20L4D and LL would result from the arrhythmic output signals rather than arrhythmia of oscillators and photoreceptors. The different responses of the two species to the change of photoperiods would be caused by the transcriptional differences of genes in the output pathway of circadian clock system rather than in the input pathway or oscillators.

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We thank Lili Ruan and Yi Ren for offering the climate chambers used in this study. We also thank Guobin Kou for the daily management for our materials. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31971706) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities under Grant (No. 2019YC08).

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Correspondence to Yike Gao.

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Liu, R., Gao, Y., Fan, Z. et al. Effects of different photoperiods on flower opening, flower closing and circadian expression of clock-related genes in Iris domestica and I. dichotoma. J Plant Res 135, 351–360 (2022).

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  • Circadian clock
  • Entrainment
  • Expression profiles
  • Flower opening and closing
  • Photoperiods