Synergic Entrainment of Drosophilia's Circadian Clock by Light and Temperature

Taishi Yoshii, Stefano Vanin, Rodolfo Costa, Charlotte Helfrich-Förster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


Daily light and temperature cycles are considered the most important zeitgebers for circadian clocks in many organisms. The influence of each single zeitgeber on the clock has been well studied, but little is known about any synergistic effects of both zeitgebers on the clock. In nature, light and temperature show characteristic daily oscillations with the temperature rising during the light phase and reaching its maximum in the late afternoon. Here, we studied behavioral and molecular rhythms in Drosophila melanogaster under simulated natural low light-dark (LD) and temperature (T) cycles that typically occur during the September equinox. Wild-type flies were either subjected to simulated LD or T cycles alone or to a combination of both. Behavioral rhythms and molecular rhythms in the different clock neurons were assessed under the 3 different conditions. Although behavioral rhythms entrained to all conditions, the rhythms were most robust under the combination of LD and T cycles. The clock neurons responded differently to LD and T cycles. Some were not entrained by T cycles alone; others were only slightly entrained by LD cycles alone. The amplitude of the molecular cycling was not different between LD alone and T cycles alone; but LD alone could set the pacemaker neurons to similar phases, whereas T cycles alone could not. The combination of the 2 zeitgebers entrained all clock neurons not only with similar phase but also enhanced the amplitude of Timeless cycling in the majority of cells. Our results show that the 2 zeitgebers synergistically entrain behavioral and molecular rhythms of Drosophila melanogaster.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-464
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Rhythms
Issue number6
Early online date19 Nov 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Synergic Entrainment of Drosophilia's Circadian Clock by Light and Temperature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this