Interspecific studies of circadian genes period and timeless in Drosophila

Shumaila Noreen, Mirko Pegoraro, Faisal Nouroz, Eran Tauber, Charalambos P. Kyriacou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The level of rescue of clock function in genetically arrhythmic Drosophila melanogaster hosts using interspecific clock gene transformation was used to study the putative intermolecular coevolution between interacting clock proteins. Among them PER and TIM are the two important negative regulators of the circadian clock feedback loop. We transformed either the D. pseudoobscura per or tim transgenes into the corresponding arrhythmic D. melanogaster mutant (per01 or tim01) and observed >50% rhythmicity but the period of activity rhythm was either longer (D. pseudoobscura-per) or shorter than 24 h (D. pseudoobscura-tim) compared to controls. By introducing both transgenes simultaneously into double mutants, we observed that the period of the activity rhythm was rescued by the pair of hemizygous transgenes (~24 h). These flies also showed a more optimal level of temperature compensation for the period. Under LD 12:12 these flies have a D. pseudoobscura like activity profile with the absence of morning anticipation as well as a very prominent earlier evening peak of activity rhythm. These observation are consistent with the view that TIM and PER form a heterospecific coevolved module at least for the circadian period of activity rhythms. However the strength of rhythmicity was reduced by having both transgenes present, so while evidence for a coevolution between PER and TIM is observed for some characters it is not for others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-114
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 30 Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors


  • Circadian rhythms
  • Coevolution
  • D. pseudoobscura
  • Drosophila
  • Period
  • Timeless

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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