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Title: Role for circadian clock genes in seasonal timing: testing the Bünning hypothesis
Authors: Pegoraro, M.
Gesto, J. S.
Kyriacou, Charalambos P.
Tauber, Eran
First Published: 4-Sep-2014
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: PLoS Genetics, 2014, 10 (9), p. e1004603
Abstract: A major question in chronobiology focuses around the "Bünning hypothesis" which implicates the circadian clock in photoperiodic (day-length) measurement and is supported in some systems (e.g. plants) but disputed in others. Here, we used the seasonally-regulated thermotolerance of Drosophila melanogaster to test the role of various clock genes in day-length measurement. In Drosophila, freezing temperatures induce reversible chill coma, a narcosis-like state. We have corroborated previous observations that wild-type flies developing under short photoperiods (winter-like) exhibit significantly shorter chill-coma recovery times (CCRt) than flies that were raised under long (summer-like) photoperiods. Here, we show that arrhythmic mutant strains, per01, tim01 and ClkJrk, as well as variants that speed up or slow down the circadian period, disrupt the photoperiodic component of CCRt. Our results support an underlying circadian function mediating seasonal daylength measurement and indicate that clock genes are tightly involved in photo- and thermo-periodic measurements.
DOI Link: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004603
ISSN: 1553-7390
eISSN: 1553-7404
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2014. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Description: PMCID: PMC4154681
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Genetics

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