Modeling temperature compensation in chemical and biological oscillators

Chronobiol Int. 1997 Sep;14(5):499-510. doi: 10.3109/07420529709001471.


All physicochemical and biological oscillators maintain a balance between destabilizing reactions (as, for example, intrinsic autocatalytic or amplifying reactions) and stabilizing processes. These two groups of processes tend to influence the period in opposite directions and may lead to temperature compensation whenever their overall influence balances. This principle of "antagonistic balance" has been tested for several chemical and biological oscillators. The Goodwin negative feedback oscillator appears of particular interest for modeling the circadian clocks in Neurospora and Drosophila and their temperature compensation. Remarkably, the Goodwin oscillator not only gives qualitative, correct phase response curves for temperature steps and temperature pulses, but also simulates the temperature behavior of Neurospora frq and Drosophila per mutants almost quantitatively. The Goodwin oscillator predicts that circadian periods are strongly dependent on the turnover of the clock mRNA or clock protein. A more rapid turnover of clock mRNA or clock protein results, in short, a slower turnover in longer period lengths.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Clocks*
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Drosophila / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Homeostasis
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Neurospora / physiology
  • Oscillometry
  • Temperature*