Light Dominates Peripheral Circadian Oscillations in Drosophila melanogaster During Sensory Conflict.

Journal of Biological Rhythms
September 2017
Harper REF
Ogueta M
Dayan P
Stanewsky R
Albert JT

n Drosophila, as in other animals, the circadian clock is a singular entity in name and concept only. In reality, clock functions emerge from multiple processes and anatomical substrates. One distinction has conventionally been made between a central clock (in the brain) and peripheral clocks (e.g., in the gut and the eyes). Both types of clock generate robust circadian oscillations, which do not require external input. Furthermore, the phases of these oscillations remain exquisitely sensitive to specific environmental cues, such as the daily changes of light and temperature. When these cues conflict with one another, the central clock displays complex forms of sensory integration; how peripheral clocks respond to conflicting input is unclear. We therefore explored the effects of light and temperature misalignments on peripheral clocks. We show that under conflict, peripheral clocks preferentially synchronize to the light stimulus. This photic dominance requires the presence of the circadian photoreceptor, Cryptochrome.