Sex-linked period genes in the silkmoth, Antheraea pernyi: implications for circadian clock regulation and the evolution of sex chromosomes

Neuron. 1999 Dec;24(4):953-65. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)81042-9.


Regulation of the period (per) gene is a critical feature of circadian clock function in insects. Here, we show that per is sex-linked in the silkmoth, Antheraea per-nyi. The previously described silkmoth per gene is found on the Z chromosome. Silkmoth per is not dosage compensated at either the RNA or the protein level. Although earlier studies showed the presence of an oscillating endogenous antisense per transcript, we show that this transcript comes from a locus on the female-specific W chromosome. We further demonstrate the presence of a homolog of per on W that encodes a truncated protein. Rhythmicity of male (ZZ) moths demonstrates that neither of the W-linked per-like genes is essential for clock function. The presence of a per allele with duplications on W provides insight into the evolution of the sex chromosomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, Insect / genetics*
  • Genetic Linkage / physiology*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Moths / genetics*
  • RNA, Antisense / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sex Chromosomes / genetics*
  • Sex Chromosomes / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics


  • RNA, Antisense
  • RNA, Messenger

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF182284
  • GENBANK/AF182285