Publication details

Cryptochrome a possible link between time and space orientation in insects.



Year of publication 2010
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Precise timing of life processes under rhythmical daily and annual changes of environmental conditions is of vital importance in the life of insects. Photosensitive molecule of Cryptochrome (Cry) was proved to be an important part of feedback loops generating (Cry2) or entraining (Cry1) circadian oscillations in a number of insect species. However, Cryptochrome is likely to be involved even in a different task in the insect life. It may help the animals to perceive the position of geomagnetic North and use this information for their orientation in space. Among others evidences, Cry deficient Drosophila lost its ability to recognize the presence of magnetic field. The aim of the present work was to analyze the impact of Cry gene silencing on magnetoreception of American cockroach Periplaneta americana. We found only Cry 1 for Periplaneta and prepared corresponding ds RNA. The disruption of circadian rhythm after the application of Cry ds RNA verified the Cry1 involvement in controlling of daily activity in Periplaneta (i) and proved the effect of RNA interference to be functional and stable (ii). Following experiments showed that also magnetosensitive reaction vanished when animals with inhibited Cry1 expression were investigated. However, the disruption of rhythms itself (elicited in control group by constant light regime) did not affect the magnetosensitive behavior. The preliminary results are in line with the hypothesis of a key role of Cry in light-dependent magnetoreception of insects. Novel evidence supporting the idea that unique molecules of Cryptochromes are involved in both the time and the compass orientation in insects was reached.
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