Discovery of Regulatory Mechanisms Controlling Circadian Rhythms, These Enable Molecular Communication between Environmental Signals and Signals Controlling Internal Clock to Optimize Photosynthetic and Metabolic Processes

Researchers in the Department of Physiology, Genetics, and Microbiology of the University of Alicante (UA) in Spain and in the Biological Sciences Division of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have recently published an article in PNAS, which draws conclusions on the circadian rhythms. This is the name by which the internal clock is known that exists in animals and plants and allows them to adapt to the conditions, which are extremely diverse and changing in some geographical areas. The cycles of light and dark (day and night) are extremely important for species and for life activity on earth. Thus, most organisms have internal clocks. The PNAS paper reports the discovery of regulatory mechanisms that allow molecular communication between environmental signals and those controlling the internal clock to optimize photosynthetic and metabolic processes. Cyanobacteria were pioneers in developing an internal clock to adapt themselves and even to anticipate the cycles of light and darkness. In order to carry out this study, scientists have worked with the model organism in which more molecular details are known about the circadian clock, which is the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC7942, used in laboratories around the world. Cyanobacteria are organisms that created the planet's oxygen atmosphere and enabled life as we currently understand it. These bacteria perform, more efficiently than plants, the same type of photosynthesis, by consuming CO2, and thus have enormous evolutionary and ecological importance, and a great biotechnological potential. Thus, one practical application of the study may be the production of a more affordable biofuel. This work connects the research lines of a University of Alicante group and another from San Diego, respectively led by geneticists Dr.
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