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Science. 1997 Nov 28;278(5343):1632-5.

Independent photoreceptive circadian clocks throughout Drosophila.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and National Science Foundation Center for Biological Timing, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Transgenic Drosophila that expressed either luciferase or green fluorescent protein driven from the promoter of the clock gene period were used to monitor the circadian clock in explanted head, thorax, and abdominal tissues. The tissues (including sensory bristles in the leg and wing) showed rhythmic bioluminescence, and the rhythms could be reset by light. The photoreceptive properties of the explanted tissues indicate that unidentified photoreceptors are likely to contribute to photic signal transduction to the clock. These results show that autonomous circadian oscillators are present throughout the body, and they suggest that individual cells in Drosophila are capable of supporting their own independent clocks.

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