The nudibranch, Melibe leonina, expresses a circadian rhythm of locomotion, and we recently determined the sequences of multiple circadian clock transcripts that may play a role in controlling these daily patterns of behavior. In this study, we used these genomic data to help us: 1) identify putative clock neurons using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH); and 2) determine if there is a daily rhythm of expression of clock transcripts in the M. leonina brain, using quantitative PCR. FISH indicated the presence of the clock-related transcripts clock, period, and photoreceptive and non-photoreceptive cryptochrome (pcry and npcry, respectively) in two bilateral neurons in each cerebropleural ganglion and a group of <10 neurons in the anterolateral region of each pedal ganglion. Double-label experiments confirmed colocalization of all four clock transcripts with each other. Quantitative PCR demonstrated that the genes clock, period, pcry and npcry exhibited significant differences in expression levels over 24 h. These data suggest that the putative circadian clock network in M. leonina consists of a small number of identifiable neurons that express circadian genes with a daily rhythm.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2018
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