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Sci Rep. 2019 Sep 25;9(1):13894. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-50282-1.

Analysis of the circadian transcriptome of the Antarctic krill Euphausia superba.

Author information

1
Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy. alberto.biscontin@unipd.it.
2
Laboratory of Chronobiology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany. alberto.biscontin@unipd.it.
3
Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy.
4
Laboratory of Chronobiology, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
5
Section Polar Biological Oceanography, Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany.
6
Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany.
7
Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB) at the University of Oldenburg, 26111, Oldenburg, Germany.
8
Department of Environment and Heritage, Australian Antarctic Division, Kingston, Tasmania, Australia.
9
Dipartimento di Biologia, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy. cristiano.depitta@unipd.it.

Abstract

Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) is a high latitude pelagic organism which plays a central role in the Southern Ocean ecosystem. E. superba shows daily and seasonal rhythms in physiology and behaviour, which are synchronized with the environmental cycles of its habitat. Recently, the main components of the krill circadian machinery have been identified and characterized. However, the exact mechanisms through which the endogenous timing system operates the control and regulation of the overt rhythms remains only partially understood. Here we investigate the involvement of the circadian clock in the temporal orchestration of gene expression by using a newly developed version of a krill microarray platform. The analysis of transcriptome data from krill exposed to both light-dark cycles (LD 18:6) and constant darkness (DD), has led to the identification of 1,564 putative clock-controlled genes. A remarkably large proportion of such genes, including several clock components (clock, period, cry2, vrille, and slimb), show oscillatory expression patterns in DD, with a periodicity shorter than 24 hours. Energy-storage pathways appear to be regulated by the endogenous clock in accordance with their ecological relevance in daily energy managing and overwintering. Our results provide the first representation of the krill circadian transcriptome under laboratory, free-running conditions.

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