The plant circadian clock coordinates environmental signals with internal processes including secondary metabolism, growth, flowering, and volatile emission. Plant tissues are specialized in different functions, and petals conceal the sexual organs while attracting pollinators. Here we analyzed the transcriptional structure of the petunia (Petunia x hybrida
) circadian clock in leaves and petals. We recorded the expression of 13 clock genes in petunia under light:dark (LD) and constant darkness (DD). Under light:dark conditions, clock genes reached maximum expression during the light phase in leaves and the dark period in petals. Under free running conditions of constant darkness, maximum expression was delayed, especially in petals. Interestingly, the rhythmic expression pattern of PhLHY
persisted in leaves and petals in LD and DD. Gene expression variability differed among leaves and petals, time of day and photoperiod. The transcriptional noise was higher especially in leaves under constant darkness. We found that PhPRR7
, and PhGI
paralogs showed changes in gene structure including exon number and deletions of CCT domain of the PRR family. Our results revealed that petunia petals presented a specialized clock.
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