A wide range of processes in plants, including expression of certain genes, is regulated by endogenous circadian rhythms. The circadian clock-associated 1 (CCA1) and the late elongated hypocotyl (LHY) proteins have been shown to be closely associated with clock function in Arabidopsis thaliana. The protein kinase CK2 can interact with and phosphorylate CCA1, but its role in the regulation of the circadian clock remains unknown. Here we show that plants overexpressing CKB3, a regulatory subunit of CK2, display increased CK2 activity and shorter periods of rhythmic expression of CCA1 and LHY. CK2 is also able to interact with and phosphorylate LHY in vitro. Additionally, overexpression of CKB3 shortened the periods of four known circadian clock-controlled genes with different phase angles, demonstrating that many clock outputs are affected. This overexpression also reduced phytochrome induction of an Lhcb gene. Finally, we found that the photoperiodic flowering response, which is influenced by circadian rhythms, was diminished in the transgenic lines, and that the plants flowered earlier on both long-day and short-day photoperiods. These data demonstrate that CK2 is involved in regulation of the circadian clock in Arabidopsis.
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