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PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e27493. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027493. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

Association between circadian clock genes and diapause incidence in Drosophila triauraria.

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  • 1Drosophila Genetic Resource Center, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto, Japan.


Diapause is an adaptive response triggered by seasonal photoperiodicity to overcome unfavorable seasons. The photoperiodic clock is a system that controls seasonal physiological processes, but our knowledge about its physiological mechanisms and genetic architecture remains incomplete. The circadian clock is another system that controls daily rhythmic physiological phenomena. It has been argued that there is a connection between the two clocks. To examine the genetic connection between them, we analyzed the associations of five circadian clock genes (period, timeless, Clock, cycle and cryptochrome) with the occurrence of diapause in Drosophila triauraria, which shows a robust reproductive diapause with clear photoperiodicity. Non-diapause strains found in low latitudes were compared in genetic crosses with the diapause strain, in which the diapause trait is clearly dominant. Single nucleotide polymorphism and deletion analyses of the five circadian clock genes in backcross progeny revealed that allelic differences in timeless and cryptochrome between the strains were additively associated with the differences in the incidence of diapause. This suggests that there is a molecular link between certain circadian clock genes and the occurrence of diapause.

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