Abiotic stress through time

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Throughout plant evolution the circadian clock has expanded into a complex signaling network, coordinating physiological and metabolic processes with the environment. Early land plants faced new environmental pressures that required energy-demanding stress responses. Integrating abiotic stress response into the circadian system provides control over daily energy expenditure. Here, we describe the evolution of the circadian clock in plants and the limited, yet compelling, evidence for conserved regulation of abiotic stress. The need to introduce abiotic stress tolerance into current crops has expanded research into wild accessions and revealed extensive variation in circadian clock parameters across monocot and eudicot species. We argue that research into the ancestral links between the clock and abiotic stress will benefit crop improvement efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-46
Number of pages7
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the University of Minnesota. There have been many separate noteworthy studies regarding the circadian clock and abiotic stress, and we apologize to those authors whose work we could not include owing to space limitations. We also thank the reviewers for their careful critique and suggestions, which helped us to unify the two sections of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors New Phytologist © 2021 New Phytologist Foundation


  • abiotic stress
  • circadian clock
  • cultivated crop
  • domestication
  • evolution
  • green lineage
  • stress response
  • wild crop relatives

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review


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