Talk by Niels Muller on the circadian clock of cultivated tomato – University of Copenhagen

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Talk by Niels Muller on the circadian clock of cultivated tomato

Niels Mueller has been invited by Sebastian Marquardt to visit CPSC on 4 November and will give a talk at 11.00-12.00 in room M117-1. The title of the talk is:

"The circadian clock of cultivated tomato has been slowed down during domestication"

Abstract: The circadian clock is an endogenous timekeeper regulating many important aspects of plant physiology and development, including key agricultural traits in crop plants. Additionally, natural variation in circadian rhythms is important for local adaptation. However, quantitative modulation of circadian rhythms due to artificial selection has not yet been reported. By analyzing circadian leaf movements of a variety of wild and cultivated tomato accessions we demonstrate that the circadian clock of cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) has been slowed down during domestication.

Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analyses reveal allelic variation of the tomato homolog of the Arabidopsis gene EMPFINDLICHER IM DUNKELROTEN LICHT1 (EID1) to underlie the delayed circadian phase of cultivated tomato. Notably, the genomic region surrounding EID1 shows signatures of a selective sweep indicating that it has been under positive selection. Finally, we find that the cultivated allele of EID1 enhances tomato performance specifically under long day photoperiods suggesting that humans selected slower circadian rhythms to adapt the cultivated species to the long summer days it encountered as it was moved away from the equator.