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Comparative Analysis of Pdf-Mediated Circadian Behaviors Between Drosophila melanogaster and D. virilis

By Jae Hoon Bahn, Gyunghee Lee and Jae H. Park


A group of small ventrolateral neurons (s-LNv's) are the principal pacemaker for circadian locomotor rhythmicity of Drosophila melanogaster, and the pigment-dispersing factor (Pdf) neuropeptide plays an essential role as a clock messenger within these neurons. In our comparative studies on Pdf-associated circadian rhythms, we found that daily locomotor activity patterns of D. virilis were significantly different from those of D. melanogaster. Activities of D. virilis adults were mainly restricted to the photophase under light:dark cycles and subsequently became arrhythmic or weakly rhythmic in constant conditions. Such activity patterns resemble those of Pdf01 mutant of D. melanogaster. Intriguingly, endogenous D. virilis Pdf (DvPdf) expression was not detected in the s-LNv-like neurons in the adult brains, implying that the Pdf01-like behavioral phenotypes of D. virilis are attributed in part to the lack of DvPdf in the s-LNv-like neurons. Heterologous transgenic analysis showed that cis-regulatory elements of the DvPdf transgene are capable of directing their expression in all endogenous Pdf neurons including s-LNv's, as well as in non-Pdf clock neurons (LNd's and fifth s-LNv) in a D. melanogaster host. Together these findings suggest a significant difference in the regulatory mechanisms of Pdf transcription between the two species and such a difference is causally associated with species-specific establishment of daily locomotor activity patterns

Topics: Investigations
Publisher: Genetics Society of America
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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