Nov 12, 2014

A temperature-dependent molecular switch to adjust behavior to changing environmental conditions

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jóhannes GudbrandssonArnar Pálsson

Abstract

Circadian clocks increase fitness of organisms by adapting physiological and behavioral rhythms to the daily changes of light and temperature, caused by the Earth' 24-hr rotation around its own axis. They consist of self-sustained molecular oscillators, maintained by negative feedback regulation of several clock genes, including period (per) and timeless (tim) in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. This molecular clock is synchronized by light:dark and temperature cycles (Zeitgeber), and in turn drives rhythmic biological outputs, like the daily locomotor activity rhythms. While light generally is considered to be the more dominant, daily temperature cycles are sufficient for stable circadian clock synchronization. In Drosophila constant light leads to break down of the molecular clock and arrhythmic behavior, but clock function can be restored by simultaneously exposing the flies to temperature cycles, indicating their particular importance in regions experiencing long photoperiods or constant light. Here, we reveal that during temperature cycles, the deleterious effects of constant light on the clock are avoided by repressing the activity of the photoreceptor CRYPTOCHROME (CRY), which normally leads to light-dependent degr...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Genetic Drift
Embryo
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
Biochemical Pathway
Genes
Toxin
Acclimatization
Energy Metabolism
Science of Morphology
Lysozyme Test

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