Enhanced Fitness Conferred by Naturally Occurring Variation in the Circadian Clock
Natural variation in clock parameters is necessary for the circadian clock to contribute to organismal fitness over a broad geographic range. Considerable variation is evident in the period, phase, and amplitude of 150 Arabidopsis accessions, and the period length is correlated with the day length at the latitude of origin, implying the adaptive significance of correctly regulated circadian timing. Quantitative trait loci analysis of recombinant inbred lines indicates that multiple loci interact to determine period, phase, and amplitude. The loss-of-function analysis of each member of the ARABIDOPSIS PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATOR family suggests that they are candidates for clock quantitative trait loci.