Drosophila melanogaster locomotor activity responds to different seasonal conditions by thermosensitive regulation of splicing of a 3′ intron in the period mRNA transcript. Here we demonstrate that the control of locomotor patterns by this mechanism is primarily light-dependent at low temperatures. At warmer temperatures, when it is vitally important for the fly to avoid midday desiccation, more stringent regulation of splicing is observed, requiring the light input received through the visual system during the day and the circadian clock at night. During the course of this study, we observed that a mutation in the no-receptor-potential-AP41 (norpAP41 ) gene, which encodes phospholipase-C, generated an extremely high level of 3′ splicing. This cannot be explained simply by the mutation's effect on the visual pathway and suggests that norpAP41 is directly involved in thermosensitivity
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