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Room 2123
Department of Plant Biology
1002 Life Sciences, One Shields Ave.
University of California Davis
Davis, CA 95616

Contact: slharmer at ucdavis.edu

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Many organisms, including some prokaryotes and most eukaryotes, possess an internal timer or circadian clock that allows them to regulate their physiology to better adapt to our continually changing world. These circadian clocks generate roughly 24 hour rhythms in physiology and behavior that are maintained even in the absence of environmental cues. Although the molecular components of circadian clocks are not conserved across higher taxa, in all organisms studied these clocks are cell autonomous oscillators and in diverse eukaryotes are composed of complex transcriptional networks.

The study of circadian rhythms presents a wide range of interesting questions: What is the molecular nature of the circadian clock; that is, how can a cell keep time? What aspects of physiology are under circadian regulation? What are the mechanistic links between the clock network and other signaling pathways? Why does a functional circadian clock provide an adaptive advantage?

The Harmer lab is using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to address these fundamental questions. We use forward and reverse genetics, genomics, biochemistry, and physiological studies to better understand the nature of the plant clock and how it helps shape plant responses to the environment.


Lab Members

Former Members


  1. Array. . PubMed ID:19133818 | HubMed [Harmer-2009]
  2. Covington MF, Maloof JN, Straume M, Kay SA, and Harmer SL. Global transcriptome analysis reveals circadian regulation of key pathways in plant growth and development. Genome Biol. 2008;9(8):R130. DOI:10.1186/gb-2008-9-8-r130 | PubMed ID:18710561 | HubMed [Covington-2008]
  3. Martin-Tryon EL and Harmer SL. XAP5 CIRCADIAN TIMEKEEPER coordinates light signals for proper timing of photomorphogenesis and the circadian clock in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. 2008 May;20(5):1244-59. DOI:10.1105/tpc.107.056655 | PubMed ID:18515502 | HubMed [Martin-Tryon-2008]
  4. Covington MF and Harmer SL. The circadian clock regulates auxin signaling and responses in Arabidopsis. PLoS Biol. 2007 Aug;5(8):e222. DOI:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050222 | PubMed ID:17683202 | HubMed [Covington-2007]
All Medline abstracts: PubMed | HubMed