Circadian clocks in prokaryotes

Mol Microbiol. 1996 Jul;21(1):5-11. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.1996.00613.x.


Prokaryotes have long been thought incapable of expressing circadian (daily) rhythms. Recently, however, such biological 'clocks' have been discovered in several species of cyanobacteria. These endogenous timekeepers control gene expression on a global level in cyanobacteria. Even in cyanobacterial cultures that are growing with average doubling times more rapid than one per 24 h, the circadian clock controls gene expression and cell division. We have isolated mutants of the cyanobacterial circadian pacemaker and are currently characterizing the loci responsible for their altered period phenotypes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Cyanobacteria / cytology
  • Cyanobacteria / genetics
  • Cyanobacteria / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Prokaryotic Cells / physiology*