Many abiotic and biotic are predominantly associated with specific times of day, driving the evolution of biological timing mechanisms that enable anticipation of biotic and abiotic stresses associated with either day or night. These biological timers (commonly referred to as the circadian system) have subsequently been co-opted to modulate many physiological processes including growth, photosynthesis, and flowering time. In addition to providing an endogenous timing reference, seasonal changes in daylength require that the circadian system is synchronized with environmental factors such as dusk and dawn. This induces a complex interplay between environmental signals, endogenous biological timers, and metabolic changes induced by sub-optimal environmental conditions. If we are to fully exploit the potential yield of crops it is vital that we understand how plants interact with their environment during daily environmental fluctuations.
The Jones lab investigates how light signals from the environment and the circadian clock interact with the ultimate goal of minimizing crop loss in adverse conditions.