Increasing crops biomass by uncovering the circadian clock network using dynamical models

The circadian clock is an internal timing system that allows plants to predict daily and seasonal changes in light and temperature and thus to adapt photosynthesis, growth, and development to external conditions. The core oscillator is well understood in the model plant Arabidopsis, however, relatively little is known about the dynamic effects of the clock on agronomic behaviour of crop plants. We therefore propose to model the circadian clock of the important crop barley and its effects on the transcriptome, metabolome and phenotypic performance. To this end, we have adapted tools from the fields of Control Systems and Machine Learning to learn how species in complex networks regulate each other and how these regulations vary in response to genetic or environmental changes. Understanding the circadian clock of the model crop barley and its effects on important agronomic traits may have great impact on precision breeding of barley and related cereals.

Project group
Maria von Korff, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany
Christoforos Hadjicostis, University of Cyprus, Cyprus
Lennart Ljung, Linköping University, Sweden
Monika Spiller, Syngenta Seeds GmbH, Germany
Clemens Ostrowicz, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Sigmar Lampe, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg