Circadian Chronobiology

This work package includes 5 projects.

We will use state-of-the art innovative approaches using the Drosophila molecular genetic toolbox, but also generate novel reporters to monitor clock neuron activation while simultaneously recording the expression of clock proteins. We shall also generate new constructs to examine circadian neuronal plasticity. Four of the individual projects will focus on Drosophila and the fifth will examine Nasonia circadian photoentrainment. See details below.

If you are interested in Circadian Chronobiology don’t forget to check these projects too, which aim to unravel the circadian clock of the bumblebee and the silk moth.

UoLsmallESR 1
Title: Temperature compensation and the Drosophila clock
Host Institution: University of Leicester
Supervisor: Prof Charalambos Kyriacou
Secondment: Muenster University for 4 months to take use real-time luciferase monitoring in cultured isolated brains.
Objectives: To discover whether circadian temperature compensation, the property of maintaining ~24 h period at different physiological temperatures, is a cell autonomous biochemical mechanism or an emerging property of the circadian neuronal network. We will use novel tools that we will generate to investigate which clock neurons are responsible for encoding temperature compensation, a cardinal property for any circadian clock.

UoLsmallESR 2
Title: Circadian network dynamics in Drosophila
Host Institution: University of Leicester
Supervisor: Dr Ezio Rosato
Secondment: Jagiellonian University (Krakow) for 4 months for synaptic plasticity studies of the fly brain.
Objectives: To determine which of two alternative models, the network model or the M/E oscillator best describes the way in which the fly clock functions. We will use further novel tools that we will generate to explore how the clock functions at the neuronal level by comparing neuronal activation dynamics with the traditional read-out of clock protein dynamics.

Muenster small

Title: Rhodopsins in circadian temperature entrainment in Drosophila
ESR: Rebekah George
Host Institution: Muenster University
Supervisor: Prof Ralf Stanewsky
Secondment: CNRS Gif-sur-Yvette for 2 months to learn parallel approaches to studying rhodopsins as photoreceptors. University of Leicester for two months to test rhodopsin mutants under natural temperature regimes.
Objectives: To discover whether rhodopsins are involved in sensing temperature cues for circadian clock synchronisation to environmental cycles. We shall use a sophisticated neurogenetic approach allied to gene expression studies to answer this question.

Title: Rhodopsins in circadian photoentrainment in Drosophila
Host Institution: CNRS, Gif-sur-Yvette
ESR: Ajay Sunil
Supervisor: Prof Francois Rouyer
Secondment: Muenster University for 3 months to learn parallel approaches to rhodopsins as thermoreceptors.  University of Leicester for 2 months to test rhodopsin mutants under natural light regimes.
Objectives: To discover how the six fly rhodopsins mediate entrainment to LD cycles in the absence of cryptochrome. A neurogenetic approach will be used to identify which rhodopsins contribute to circadian light entrainment under different spectral compositions and light intensities and which of the three light receptive organs, the eye, HB eyelet or simple eye (ocelli) are involved.

Groningen small

Title: Circadian light entrainment in Nasonia
Host Institution: University of Groningen
Supervisor: Dr Roelof Hut
Secondment: University of Haifa for 4 months for bioinformatics and population genetic analysis.
Objectives: To investigate how the Nasonia circadian clock entrains to light cycles and whether adaptive changes to this underlying entrainment mechanism have generated the latitudinal clines we observe in circadian light sensitivity in Europe and America. Using genome screens for photic induction allied to mutagenesis, and populations of Nasonia collected at different latitudes and continents, we will identify photosensitive transcripts that have undergone adaptive changes along latitudinal clines.

See other Work Packages:
Seasonal Chonobiology
Metabolic Chonobiology
Commercial Chonobiology