Cyanobacteria are the simplest organisms known to exhibit circadian rhythms and have provided experimental model systems for the dissection of basic properties of circadian organization at the molecular, physiological, and ecological levels. This review focuses on the molecular and genetic mechanisms of circadian rhythm generation in cyanobacteria. Recent analyses have revealed the existence of multiple feedback processes in the prokaryotic circadian system and have led to a novel molecular oscillator model. Here, the authors summarize current understanding of, and open questions about, the cyanobacterial oscillator.
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