Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 154, Issue 1, pp 91–96 | Cite as

Photoperiodic induction of pupal diapause in the flesh fly,Sarcophaga crassipalpis: embryonic sensitivity

  • Ann L. Gnagey
  • David L. Denlinger


The last two days of embryonic development are crucial in programming pupal diapause in the flesh fly,Sarcophaga crassipalpis. Short daylength (greater than 10 1/2h of darkness) during this interval permits expression of diapause while long daylength during this brief sensitive stage eliminates the potential for diapause. Length of scotophase rather than photophase programs the diapause although three hours of light is needed to separate tandem dark periods. Early in the scotophase, photosensitivity is restricted to blue light (less than 540 nm). The scotophase can be divided into 4 phases according to the effect of light breaks on diapause expression. During Phase I (0–6 h after scotophase onset) embryos are highly sensitive to light interruption and diapause is effectively eliminated. A period of insensitivity to light, Phase II, extends from 6–hh after onset of scotophase. Light breaks at 10–11h coincide with the critical scotophase length and result in a partial reduction of diapause. In Phase IV, the scotophase reaction is complete and diapause competence is preserved even in the presence of light. Although light breaks result in elimination of diapause throughout Phase I, recovery time from a 1 h light break (length of darkness needed to counter the effect of a light break) differs dramatically depending upon when the light break is presented. Early in Phase I (0–3h) recovery from light interruption is rapid, while late in Phase I (4–6h), the effects of light are not readily reversible. The scotophase reaction thus appears to follow a step-wise progression rather than represent a simple linear response. We present a molecular model that could account for the dynamics of the scotophase reaction.


Human Physiology Embryonic Development Recovery Time Molecular Model Blue Light 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann L. Gnagey
    • 1
  • David L. Denlinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EntomologyOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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