Time, love and species.

  Vol. 22 (4) 2001 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2001; 22(4): 222-228 PubMed PMID:  11524627    Citation  Keywords:  Animals, Circadian Rhythm, Drosophila:physiology, Reproduction:physiology, Species Specificity,.   

: Physiological and behavioral phenomena of many animals are restricted to certain times of the day. Many organisms show daily rhythms in their mating. The daily fluctuation in mating activity of a few insects is controlled by an endogenous clock. The fruitfly, Drosophila, is the most suitable material to characterize the genetic basis of circadian rhythms of mating because some mutants with defective core oscillator mechanism, feedback loops, have been isolated. D. melanogaster wild-type display a robust circadian rhythm in the mating activity, and the rhythms are abolished in period or timeless null mutant flies (per(01) and tim(01)), the rhythms are generated by females but not males. Disconnected (disco) mutants which have a severe defect in the optic lobe and are missing lateral neurons show arrhythmicity in mating activities. Thus, the lateral neurons seem to be essential for the circadian rhythm in mating activity of Drosophila. Furthermore, an anti-phasic relation in circadian rhythms of the mating activity was detected between D. melanogaster and their sibling species D. simulans. The Queensland fruit flies or wild gypsy moth also show species-specific mating rhythm, suggesting that species-specific circadian rhythms in mating activity of insect appear to cause a reproductive isolation.

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