Precision of the Gonyaulax circadian clock

Cell Biophys. 1981 Sep;3(3):223-31. doi: 10.1007/BF02782625.


Under constant conditions, the circadian bioluminescent glow rhythm in populations (10(5) cells) of Gonyaulax polyedra is accurate to within 2 min/day. On successive days following the transfer to constant conditions, however, the glow exhibits a progressively broader waveform, implying that individual clocks in the population are drifting out of synchrony. Analysis of the glow waveform suggests that the standard deviation in circadian period among individual clocks is about 18 min and that the period of a given clock varies by less than this from one day to the next.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Dinoflagellida / physiology*
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Biological