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Plants have circadian oscillations in the concentration of cytosolic free calcium ([Ca(2+)](cyt)). To dissect the circadian Ca(2+)-signaling network, we monitored circadian [Ca(2+)](cyt) oscillations under various light/dark conditions (including different spectra) in Arabidopsis thaliana wild type and photoreceptor and circadian clock mutants. Both red and blue light regulate circadian oscillations of [Ca(2+)](cyt). Red light signaling is mediated by PHYTOCHROME B (PHYB). Blue light signaling occurs through the redundant action of CRYPTOCHROME1 (CRY1) and CRY2. Blue light also increases the basal level of [Ca(2+)](cyt), and this response requires PHYB, CRY1, and CRY2. Light input into the oscillator controlling [Ca(2+)](cyt) rhythms is gated by EARLY FLOWERING3. Signals generated in the dark also regulate the circadian behavior of [Ca(2+)](cyt). Oscillations of [Ca(2+)](cyt) and CHLOROPHYLL A/B BINDING PROTEIN2 (CAB2) promoter activity are dependent on the rhythmic expression of LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL and CIRCADIAN CLOCK-ASSOCIATED1, but [Ca(2+)](cyt) and CAB2 promoter activity are uncoupled in the timing of cab1 (toc1-1) mutant but not in toc1-2. We suggest that the circadian oscillations of [Ca(2+)](cyt) and CAB2 promoter activity are regulated by distinct oscillators with similar components that are used in a different manner and that these oscillators may be located in different cell types in Arabidopsis.
The small gene family encoding the chlorophyll a/b-binding proteins of photosystem II (CABII or lhcb) is known to exhibit circadian rhythms of mRNA abundance in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. In this study we investigated the role of transcription in the phenomenon. We used as reporters Chlamydomonas genes that encode nitrate reductase (NITI) and arylsulfatase (ARS2) transcriptionally fused to sequences upstream of one of the CABII genes (called CABII-1). We found that both reporters exhibited the same circadian rhythm of mRNA abundance in phase, period, and amplitude as does the endogenous CABII-1 gene. We also evaluated the efficacy of arylsulfatase enzymatic activity as a reporter and found that its half-life is too long to make it a useful reporter of rhythmic transcription during a circadian or diurnal cycle. The amount of mRNA synthesis from the CABII-1 gene was examined by in vivo labeling experiments and a circadian rhythm in transcription rate was demonstrated. In vivo labeling also revealed a circadian rhythm of mRNA synthesis for the CABII gene family as a whole. The results from the transcriptional reporter assays together with the in vivo labeling experiments strongly support the conclusion that the biological clock regulates the transcriptional activity of the CABII-I gene, and moreover that regulation at the transcriptional level is the predominant mode by which the clock regulates this gene.