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Underpinning the significance of circadian clock winter disruption in Poplar

Final Report Summary - WINCLOCK (Underpinning the significance of circadian clock winter disruption in Poplar)

Environmental regulation of shoot growth, branching and plant adaptation to a changing climate are central regulatory process require for plant fitness and biomass production, having special interest in woody perennial species. These traits are of a great interest to tree breeders which impacts tree productivity and geographical distribution, particularly in the context of global warming scenario. The function of the circadian clock in controlling seasonal development of trees has recently emerged, however its regulation is not understood in tree models.
WinClock project investigated the crosstalk between the environmental signals and developmental programs in woody perennials. Specifically, WinClock studied how photoperiod and temperature cues interact with the biological clock defining the temporal control of winter dormancy establishment in poplar. WinClock disentangled two different aspect of this regulation: A) how photoperiod cue acts as a repressing signal to control seasonal shoot growth, and B) how photoperiod and temperature cues input the circadian-regulated RAV1 transcription factor controlling axillary bud outgrowth and seasonal poplar acclimation.
WinClock contributed to the generation of 7 scientific articles, 17 presentations in national and international scientific meetings, as well as participation of several scientific outreach activities. As a result of WinClock working plan, we identified new molecular frameworks and developed original models that set the ground of my future research lines. Moreover WinClock helped to support the accomplishment of 2 PhD, 2 Master and 2 Bachelor degree theses. All of them positively contributed to consolidate my Ramon y Cajal tenure track position and my Assistant Professor I3 application at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain.

WinClock Contacts:
Principal Investigator: Mariano Perales email:
Coordinator: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid email: