The optic lobe is essential for circadian locomotor rhythms in the cricket, Gryllodes sigillatus. We examined potential interactions between the bilaterally paired optic lobes in circadian rhythm generation. When one optic lobe was removed, the free-running period of the locomotor rhythm slightly but significantly lengthened. When exposed to light-dark cycles (LD) with 26 hr period, intact and sham operated animals were clearly entrained to the light cycle, but a large number of animals receiving unilateral optic nerve severance showed rhythm dissociation. In the dissociation, two rhythmic components appeared; one was readily entrained to the given LD and the other free-ran with a period shorter than 24 hr, and activity was expressed only when they were inphase. The period of the free-running component was significantly longer than that of the animals with a single blinded pacemaker kept in LD13:13, suggesting that the pacemaker on the intact side had some influence on the blinded pacemaker even in the dissociated state. The ratio of animals with rhythm dissociation was greater with the lower light intensity of the LD. The results suggest that the bilaterally distributed pacemakers are only weakly coupled to one another but strongly suppress the activity driven by the partner pacemaker during their subjective day. The strong suppression of activity would be advantageous to keep a stable nocturnality for this cricket living indoors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology