Independent Photoreceptive Circadian Clocks Throughout Drosophila

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Science  28 Nov 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5343, pp. 1632-1635
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5343.1632

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Transgenic Drosophila that expressed either luciferase or green fluorescent protein driven from the promoter of the clock geneperiod were used to monitor the circadian clock in explanted head, thorax, and abdominal tissues. The tissues (including sensory bristles in the leg and wing) showed rhythmic bioluminescence, and the rhythms could be reset by light. The photoreceptive properties of the explanted tissues indicate that unidentified photoreceptors are likely to contribute to photic signal transduction to the clock. These results show that autonomous circadian oscillators are present throughout the body, and they suggest that individual cells in Drosophilaare capable of supporting their own independent clocks.

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