Background: In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, interlocked negative transcription/translation feedback loops provide the core of the circadian clock that generates rhythmic phenotypes. Although the current molecular model portrays the oscillator as cell autonomous, cross-talk among clock neurons is essential for robust cycling behavior. Nevertheless, the functional organization of the neuronal network remains obscure.
Results: Here we show that shortening or lengthening of the circadian period of locomotor activity can be obtained either by targeting different groups of clock cells with the same genetic manipulation or by challenging the same group of cells with activators and repressors of neuronal excitability.
Conclusions: Based on these observations we interpret circadian rhythmicity as an emerging property of the circadian network and we propose an initial model for its architectural design.
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.