Circadian Rhythms in Rapidly Dividing Cyanobacteria

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Science  10 Jan 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5297, pp. 224-227
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5297.224

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The long-standing supposition that the biological clock cannot function in cells that divide more rapidly than the circadian cycle was investigated. During exponential growth in which the generation time was 10 hours, the profile of bioluminescence from a reporter strain of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus (species PCC 7942) matched a model based on the assumption that cells proliferate exponentially and the bioluminescence of each cell oscillates in a cosine fashion. Some messenger RNAs showed a circadian rhythm in abundance during continuous exponential growth with a doubling time of 5 to 6 hours. Thus, the cyanobacterial circadian clock functions in cells that divide three or more times during one circadian cycle.

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