Ontogeny of the circadian clock in Sarcophaga crassipalpis
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Entomology Honors Theses; 2016
The timing of circadian rhythms is controlled by the rhythmic expression of clock genes in pacemaker neurons within the brain. Circadian gene expression and behavior can entrain to thermoperiod and photoperiod. However, the availability of these cues, the organization of the brain, and the need for circadian behavior all change throughout insect metamorphosis. The purpose of this study is to examine how the entrainment and expression of the circadian clock change throughout fly development using Sarcophaga crassipalpis as a model organism. The expression of the clock genes period and timeless during various developmental time points was examined using qRT-PCR to determine the ontogeny of the circadian clock. Our findings indicate that rhythmic clock gene expression ceases during early pharate adulthood, only to resume by the time of eclosion. The entrainment of the clock was also tested by exposing flies to different combinations of thermoperiod and photoperiod and testing the effect on the timing of the circadian event of eclosion. qRT-PCR was used to measure period expression under conditions that could and could not entrain eclosion. Thermoperiod entrains expression of period and controls the time of eclosion, suggesting that period may be the upstream determinant of eclosion. These results indicates patterns of clock gene expression are dynamic through the life history of an animal.
Academic Major: Entomology
URO Summer Research Fellowship
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