Evidence for oscillating circadian clock genes in the copepod Calanus finmarchicus during the summer solstice in the high Arctic.
ABSTRACT: The circadian clock provides a mechanism for anticipating environmental cycles and is synchronized by temporal cues such as daily light/dark cycle or photoperiod. However, the Arctic environment is characterized by several months of Midnight Sun when the sun is continuously above the horizon and where sea ice further attenuates photoperiod. To test if the oscillations of circadian clock genes remain in synchrony with subtle environmental changes, we sampled the copepod Calanus finmarchicus, a key zooplankter in the north Atlantic, to determine in situ daily circadian clock gene expression near the summer solstice at a southern (74.5° N) sea ice-free and a northern (82.5° N) sea ice-covered station. Results revealed significant oscillation of genes at both stations, indicating the persistence of the clock at this time. While copepods from the southern station showed oscillations in the daily range, those from the northern station exhibited an increase in ultradian oscillations. We suggest that in C. finmarchicus, even small daily changes of solar altitude seem to be sufficient to entrain the circadian clock and propose that at very high latitudes, in under-ice ecosystems, tidal cues may be used as an additional entrainment cue.
Project description:The plant circadian clock is an internal timekeeper that coordinates biological processes with daily changes in the external environment. The transcript levels of clock genes, which oscillate to control circadian outputs, were examined during early seedling development in barley (Hordeum vulgare), a model for temperate cereal crops. Oscillations of clock gene transcript levels do not occur in barley seedlings grown in darkness or constant light but were observed with day-night cycles. A dark-to-light transition influenced transcript levels of some clock genes but triggered only weak oscillations of gene expression, whereas a light-to-dark transition triggered robust oscillations. Single light pulses of 6, 12 or 18 hours induced robust oscillations. The light-to-dark transition was the primary determinant of the timing of subsequent peaks of clock gene expression. After the light-to-dark transition the timing of peak transcript levels of clock gene also varied depending on the length of the preceding light pulse. Thus, a single photoperiod can trigger initiation of photoperiod-dependent circadian rhythms in barley seedlings. Photoperiod-specific rhythms of clock gene expression were observed in two week old barley plants. Changing the timing of dusk altered clock gene expression patterns within a single day, showing that alteration of circadian oscillator behaviour is amongst the most rapid molecular responses to changing photoperiod in barley. A barley EARLY FLOWERING3 mutant, which exhibits rapid photoperiod-insensitive flowering behaviour, does not establish clock rhythms in response to a single photoperiod. The data presented show that dawn and dusk cues are important signals for setting the state of the circadian oscillator during early development of barley and that the circadian oscillator of barley exhibits photoperiod-dependent oscillation states.
Project description:Adaptation to environmental changes is an important fitness trait for crop development. Photoperiod is an essential factor in seasonal control of flowering time. Sensing of day-length requires an interaction between the Photoperiod and the endogenous rhythms that is controlled by plant circadian clock. Thus, circadian clock is a critical regulator and internal molecular time-keeping mechanism, controlling key agricultural traits in crop plants such as the ability to adjust their growth and physiology to anticipate diurnal environmental changes. Here, we describe the gene Tomato Dof Daily Fluctuations 1 (TDDF1), which is involved in circadian regulation and stress resistance. Large daily oscillations in TDDF1 expression were retained after transferring to continuous dark (DD) or light (LL) conditions. Interestingly, overexpressing TDDF1 induce early flowering in tomato through up-regulation of the flowering-time control genes, moreover, by protein-protein interaction with the floral inducer SFT gene. Notably, overexpressing TDDF1 in tomato was associated with chlorophyll overaccumulation by up-regulating the related biosynthetic genes. TDDF1 expression results in improved drought, salt, various hormones stress tolerance alongwith resistance to late blight caused by Phytophthora infestans. This study can be a distinctive strategy to improve other economically important crops.
Project description:Internal clocks driving rhythms of about a day (circadian) are ubiquitous in animals, allowing them to anticipate environmental changes. Genetic or environmental disturbances to circadian clocks or the rhythms they produce are commonly associated with illness, compromised performance or reduced survival. Nevertheless, some animals including Arctic mammals, open sea fish and social insects such as honeybees are active around-the-clock with no apparent ill effects. The mechanisms allowing this remarkable natural plasticity are unknown. We generated and validated a new and specific antibody against the clock protein PERIOD of the honeybee Apis mellifera (amPER) and used it to characterize the circadian network in the honeybee brain. We found many similarities to Drosophila melanogaster and other insects, suggesting common anatomical organization principles in the insect clock that have not been appreciated before. Time course analyses revealed strong daily oscillations in amPER levels in foragers, which show circadian rhythms, and also in nurses that do not, although the latter have attenuated oscillations in brain mRNA clock gene levels. The oscillations in nurses show that activity can be uncoupled from the circadian network and support the hypothesis that a ticking circadian clock is essential even in around-the-clock active animals in a constant physical environment.
Project description:Although much is known about how circadian systems control daily cycles in the physiology and behavior of Drosophila and several vertebrate models, marine invertebrates have often been overlooked in circadian rhythms research. This study focuses on the starlet sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, a species that has received increasing attention within the scientific community for its potential as a model research organism. The recently sequenced genome of N. vectensis makes it an especially attractive model for exploring the molecular evolution of circadian behavior. Critical behavioral data needed to correlate gene expression patterns to specific behaviors are currently lacking in N. vectensis.To detect the presence of behavioral oscillations in N. vectensis, locomotor activity was evaluated using an automated system in an environmentally controlled chamber. Animals exposed to a 24 hr photoperiod (12 hr light: 12 hr dark) exhibited locomotor behavior that was both rhythmic and predominantly nocturnal. The activity peak occurred in the early half of the night with a 2-fold increase in locomotion. Upon transfer to constant lighting conditions (constant light or constant dark), an approximately 24 hr rhythm persisted in most animals, suggesting that the rhythm is controlled by an endogenous circadian mechanism. Fourier analysis revealed the presence of multiple peaks in some animals suggesting additional rhythmic components could be present. In particular, an approximately 12 hr oscillation was often observed. The nocturnal increase in generalized locomotion corresponded to a 24 hr oscillation in animal elongation.These data confirm the presence of a light-entrainable circadian clock in Nematostella vectensis. Additional components observed in some individuals indicate that an endogenous clock of approximately 12 hr frequency may also be present. By describing rhythmic locomotor behavior in N. vectensis, we have made important progress in developing the sea anemone as a model organism for circadian rhythm research.
Project description:Circadian clocks provide a competitive advantage in an environment that is heavily influenced by the rotation of the Earth, by driving daily rhythms in behaviour, physiology and metabolism in bacteria, fungi, plants and animals. Circadian clocks comprise transcription-translation feedback loops, which are entrained by environmental signals such as light and temperature to adjust the phase of rhythms to match the local environment. The production of sugars by photosynthesis is a key metabolic output of the circadian clock in plants. Here we show that these rhythmic, endogenous sugar signals can entrain circadian rhythms in Arabidopsis thaliana by regulating the gene expression of circadian clock components early in the photoperiod, thus defining a 'metabolic dawn'. By inhibiting photosynthesis, we demonstrate that endogenous oscillations in sugar levels provide metabolic feedback to the circadian oscillator through the morning-expressed gene PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATOR 7 (PRR7), and we identify that prr7 mutants are insensitive to the effects of sucrose on the circadian period. Thus, photosynthesis has a marked effect on the entrainment and maintenance of robust circadian rhythms in A. thaliana, demonstrating that metabolism has a crucial role in regulation of the circadian clock.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The circadian clock is an endogenous mechanism that coordinates biological processes with daily changes in the environment. In plants, circadian rhythms contribute to both agricultural productivity and evolutionary fitness. In barley, the photoperiod response regulator and flowering-time gene Ppd-H1 is orthologous to the Arabidopsis core-clock gene PRR7. However, relatively little is known about the role of Ppd-H1 and other components of the circadian clock in temperate crop species. In this study, we identified barley clock orthologs and tested the effects of natural genetic variation at Ppd-H1 on diurnal and circadian expression of clock and output genes from the photoperiod-response pathway. RESULTS: Barley clock orthologs HvCCA1, HvGI, HvPRR1, HvPRR37 (Ppd-H1), HvPRR73, HvPRR59 and HvPRR95 showed a high level of sequence similarity and conservation of diurnal and circadian expression patterns, when compared to Arabidopsis. The natural mutation at Ppd-H1 did not affect diurnal or circadian cycling of barley clock genes. However, the Ppd-H1 mutant was found to be arrhythmic under free-running conditions for the photoperiod-response genes HvCO1, HvCO2, and the MADS-box transcription factor and vernalization responsive gene Vrn-H1. CONCLUSION: We suggest that the described eudicot clock is largely conserved in the monocot barley. However, genetic differentiation within gene families and differences in the function of Ppd-H1 suggest evolutionary modification in the angiosperm clock. Our data indicates that natural variation at Ppd-H1 does not affect the expression level of clock genes, but controls photoperiodic output genes. Circadian control of Vrn-H1 in barley suggests that this vernalization responsive gene is also controlled by the photoperiod-response pathway. Structural and functional characterization of the barley circadian clock will set the basis for future studies of the adaptive significance of the circadian clock in Triticeae species.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Most organisms have evolved a circadian clock in order to anticipate daily environmental changes and many of these organisms are also capable of sophisticated measurement of daylength (photoperiodism) that is used to regulate seasonal events such as diapause, migration and polymorphism. It has been generally accepted that the same elements are involved in both circadian (daily) and seasonal (annual) rhythms because both rely upon daily light-dark cycles. However, as reasonable as this sounds, there remains no conclusive evidence of such a molecular machinery in insects. We have approached this issue by using RNA interference (RNAi) in Riptortus pedestris. RESULTS: The cuticle deposition rhythm exhibited the major properties of circadian rhythms, indicating that the rhythm is regulated by a circadian clock. RNAi directed against the circadian clock genes of period and cycle, which are negative and positive regulators in the circadian clock, respectively, disrupted the cuticle deposition rhythm and distinct cuticle layers were produced by these RNAi. Simultaneously, period RNAi caused the insect to avert diapause under a diapause-inducing photoperiod whereas cycle RNAi induced diapause under a diapause-averting photoperiod. The expression patterns of juvenile hormone-regulated genes and the application of juvenile hormone analogue suggested that neither ovarian development itself nor a downstream cascade of juvenile hormone secretion, were disturbed by period and cycle RNAi. CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed that the circadian clock genes are crucial not only for daily rhythms but also for photoperiodic diapause. RNAi directed against period and cycle had opposite effects not only in the circadian cuticle deposition rhythm but also in the photoperiodic diapause. These RNAi also had opposite effects on juvenile hormone-regulated gene expression. It is still possible that the circadian clock genes pleiotropically affect ovarian development but, based on these results, we suggest that the circadian clock operated by the circadian clock genes, period and cycle, governs seasonal timing as well as the daily rhythms.
Project description:Life is controlled by multiple rhythms. Although the interaction of the daily (circadian) clock with environmental stimuli, such as light, is well documented, its relationship to endogenous clocks with other periods is little understood. We establish that the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii possesses endogenous circadian and circalunar (monthly) clocks and characterize their interactions. The RNAs of likely core circadian oscillator genes localize to a distinct nucleus of the worm's forebrain. The worm's forebrain also harbors a circalunar clock entrained by nocturnal light. This monthly clock regulates maturation and persists even when circadian clock oscillations are disrupted by the inhibition of casein kinase 1?/?. Both circadian and circalunar clocks converge on the regulation of transcript levels. Furthermore, the circalunar clock changes the period and power of circadian behavior, although the period length of the daily transcriptional oscillations remains unaltered. We conclude that a second endogenous noncircadian clock can influence circadian clock function.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Insects show daily behavioral rhythms controlled by an endogenous oscillator, the circadian clock. The rhythm synchronizes to daily light-dark cycles (LD) and changes waveform in association with seasonal change in photoperiod. RESULTS:To explore the molecular basis of the photoperiod-dependent changes in circadian locomotor rhythm, we investigated the role of a chromatin modifier, Enhancer of zeste (Gb'E(z)), in the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus. Under a 12 h:12 h LD (LD 12:12), Gb'E(z) was constitutively expressed in the optic lobe, the site of the biological clock; active phase (?) and rest phase (?) were approximately 12 h in duration, and ?/? ratio was approximately 1.0. When transferred to LD 20:4, the ?/? ratio decreased significantly, and the Gb'E(z) expression level was significantly reduced at 6 h and 10 h after light-on, as was reflected in the reduced level of trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 27. This change was associated with change in clock gene expression profiles. The photoperiod-dependent changes in ?/? ratio and clock gene expression profiles were prevented by knocking down Gb'E(z) by RNAi. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that histone modification by Gb'E(z) is involved in photoperiodic modulation of the G. bimaculatus circadian rhythm.
Project description:In temperate regions, the shortening day length informs many insect species to prepare for winter by inducing diapause. The adult diapause of the linden bug, Pyrrhocoris apterus, involves a reproductive arrest accompanied by energy storage, reduction of metabolic needs, and preparation to withstand low temperatures. By contrast, nondiapause animals direct nutrient energy to muscle activity and reproduction. The photoperiod-dependent switch from diapause to reproduction is systemically transmitted throughout the organism by juvenile hormone (JH). Here, we show that, at the organ-autonomous level of the insect gut, the decision between reproduction and diapause relies on an interaction between JH signaling and circadian clock genes acting independently of the daily cycle. The JH receptor Methoprene-tolerant and the circadian proteins Clock and Cycle are all required in the gut to activate the Par domain protein 1 gene during reproduction and to simultaneously suppress a mammalian-type cryptochrome 2 gene that promotes the diapause program. A nonperiodic, organ-autonomous feedback between Par domain protein 1 and Cryptochrome 2 then orchestrates expression of downstream genes that mark the diapause vs. reproductive states of the gut. These results show that hormonal signaling through Methoprene-tolerant and circadian proteins controls gut-specific gene activity that is independent of circadian oscillations but differs between reproductive and diapausing animals.