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Linking the clock to metabolism

Objective

Optimal plant growth requires the orchestration of carbon metabolism over the day-night cycle, to avoid periods of starvation at night. Metabolism and growth at night are fueled by carbohydrates released by degradation of starch, synthesised from photosynthesis in the preceding day. Starch synthesis and degradation are regulated such that starch reserves are almost but not quite exhausted at the end of the night, in both long and short nights. We have recently found that this robust regulation is a function of the circadian clock, an endogenous timer that allows plants to anticipate and prepare for daily changes in their environment, and a paradigm for Systems Biology. The clock controls the rate of starch degradation at night, so that reserves last until the anticipated dawn. Starvation and growth arrest are avoided. This important discovery opens the way to new levels of understanding of the control of plant growth and productivity. TiMet assembles world leaders in experimental and theoretical plant Systems Biology to understand the regulatory interactions between the clock gene circuit and metabolism, and their emergent effects on growth and productivity. In addition to starch metabolism, we will study isoprenoid synthesis, an essential metabolic process linking starch metabolism to growth and development. Jointly-conducted experiments will use responses to day-length and light-quality regimes that perturb clock function, and a large set of mutants deficient in clock or central metabolic functions. High throughput technologies will enable study of transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational events, providing a depth of analysis hitherto unattained for either the clock or metabolism in plants. Innovative data mining and modelling platforms will underpin new, mechanistic models of each subsystem, will integrate them for the first time, and test the emergent effects of this dynamic system on plant growth rate and productivity.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/economics/production economics/productivity
  • /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/data science/data mining

Call for proposal

FP7-KBBE-2009-3
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

CP-IP - Large-scale integrating project

Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH
Address
Old College, South Bridge
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 039 394
Administrative Contact
Angela Noble (Ms.)

Participants (8)

JOHN INNES CENTRE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 599 000
Address
Norwich Research Park Colney
NR4 7UH Norwich
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Mary Anderson (Dr.)
EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 1 639 208
Address
Raemistrasse 101
8092 Zuerich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Wilhelm Gruissem (Dr.)
Klinik Max Planck Institut für Psychiatrie
Germany
EU contribution
€ 1 459 000
Address
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Muenchen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Lothar Grube (Mr.)
CENTRE DE RECERCA EN AGRIGENOMICA CSIC-IRTA-UAB-UB
Spain
EU contribution
€ 508 250
Address
Parc De Recerca De L Uab Campus Uab Edifici Crag Bellaterra
08193 Cerdanyola Del Valles
Activity type
Other
Administrative Contact
Lali Sanz (Ms.)
SCOTTISH CROP RESEARCH INSTITUTE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 4 739,98
Address
Invergowrie
DD2 5DA Dundee
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Neil Hattersley (Dr.)
THE UNIVERSITY COURT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 303 647
Address
King's College Regent Walk
AB24 3FX Aberdeen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Elizabeth Rattray (Dr.)
THE JAMES HUTTON INSTITUTE

Participation ended

United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 3 577,82
Address
Errol Road Invergowrie
DD2 5DA Dundee
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Karen Robb (Mrs.)
UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 287 512,20
Address
University Avenue
G12 8QQ Glasgow
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Joe Galloway (Mr.)