The life cycles of most plants are synchronised to the passing seasons by responding to changes in day length. George Coupland initiated the use of molecular genetic methods to study these photoperiodic responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. His major contributions are in defining the molecular mechanisms that enable plants to measure day length and in explaining how these processes are related to the initiation of floral development. His work has provided a coherent model for how diurnal rhythms in the transcription of regulatory genes combined with posttranscriptional regulation of protein stability by light induce flowering only under long summer days.
Interest and expertise
Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
Plant sciences / botany
Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
Plant Genomics, Flowering, Envrionmental Control of Development, Photoperiodism, Arabidopsis thaliana