Redox and the circadian clock in plant immunity: A balancing act

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Plants' reliance on sunlight for energy makes their light-driven circadian clock a critical regulator in balancing the energy needs for vital activities such as growth and defense. Recent studies show that the circadian clock acts as a strategic planner to prime active defense responses towards the morning or daytime when conditions, such as the opening of stomata required for photosynthesis, are favorable for attackers. Execution of the defense response, on the other hand, is determined according to the cellular redox state and is regulated in part by the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species upon pathogen challenge. The interplay between redox and the circadian clock further gates the onset of defense response to a specific time of the day to avoid conflict with growth-related activities. In this review, we focus on discussing the roles of the circadian clock as a robust overseer and the cellular redox as a dynamic executor of plant defense.

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