Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Nature. 2008 Aug 21;454(7207):1014-8. doi: 10.1038/nature07183. Epub 2008 Jul 20.

Cryptochrome mediates light-dependent magnetosensitivity in Drosophila.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurobiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts 01605, USA.

Abstract

Although many animals use the Earth's magnetic field for orientation and navigation, the precise biophysical mechanisms underlying magnetic sensing have been elusive. One theoretical model proposes that geomagnetic fields are perceived by chemical reactions involving specialized photoreceptors. However, the specific photoreceptor involved in such magnetoreception has not been demonstrated conclusively in any animal. Here we show that the ultraviolet-A/blue-light photoreceptor cryptochrome (Cry) is necessary for light-dependent magnetosensitive responses in Drosophila melanogaster. In a binary-choice behavioural assay for magnetosensitivity, wild-type flies show significant naive and trained responses to a magnetic field under full-spectrum light ( approximately 300-700 nm) but do not respond to the field when wavelengths in the Cry-sensitive, ultraviolet-A/blue-light part of the spectrum (<420 nm) are blocked. Notably, Cry-deficient cry(0) and cry(b) flies do not show either naive or trained responses to a magnetic field under full-spectrum light. Moreover, Cry-dependent magnetosensitivity does not require a functioning circadian clock. Our work provides, to our knowledge, the first genetic evidence for a Cry-based magnetosensitive system in any animal.

Comment in

PMID:
18641630
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2559964
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (4)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk