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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 May;86(10):3748-52.

Induction of diapause in Drosophila melanogaster: photoperiodic regulation and the impact of arrhythmic clock mutations on time measurement.

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Department of Zoology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.


The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster displays an ovarian diapause that is regulated by photoperiod. Newly eclosed female flies (Canton-S wild type) exposed to short days (less than 14 hr of light per day) at 12 degrees C (or 10 degrees C) enter a fairly shallow reproductive diapause. Females exposed to long days (16 hr of light per day) at the same low temperature undergo ovarian maturation. The short day induced diapause continues for 6-7 weeks under a 10:14 light/dark cycle at 12 degrees C but is terminated rapidly after a transfer to higher temperature (18 or 25 degrees C) or to long days (18:6 light/dark cycle). Females from three strains homozygous for alleles of the period (per) locus, reportedly arrhythmic for behavioral circadian rhythms, and females that possessed two overlapping deletions of per were also capable of discriminating between long and short days, although, when compared with the wild-type flies, the critical day length was shifted to shorter values by approximately 2 hr. It is concluded that the period locus is not causally involved in photoperiod time measurement.

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