Circadian Rhythms and Period Expression in the Hawaiian Cricket Genus Laupala
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Daily activity times and circadian rhythms of crickets have been a subject of behavioral and physiological study for decades. However, recent studies suggest that the underlying molecular mechanism of cricket endogenous clocks differ from the model of circadian rhythm generation in Drosophila. Here we examine the circadian free-running periods of walking and singing in two Hawaiian swordtail cricket species, Laupala cerasina and Laupala paranigra, that differ in the daily timing of mating related activities. Additionally, we examine variation in sequence and daily cycling of the period (per) gene transcript between these species. The species differed significantly in free-running period of singing, but did not differ significantly in the free-running period of locomotion. Like in Drosophila, per transcript abundance showed cycling consistent with a role in circadian rhythm generation. The amino acid differences identified between these species suggest a potential of the per gene in interspecific behavioral variation in Laupala.
KeywordsLaupala Cricket Courtship Circadian Period Free-running
DJF was supported by an NIH training Grant (No. 5T32GM007469 to the Cornell graduate field of Neurobiology and Behavior). Parts of this work were supported by an NSF doctoral dissertation improvement grant (IOS0709993). We would like to thank Chris Wiley, Holly Menninger, Chris Ellison, and Biz Turnell for valuable discussion and feedback.
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