Circadian locomotor rhythm and its underlying mechanism were investigated in the cricket, Gryllodes sigillatus. Adult male crickets showed a nocturnal locomotor rhythm peaking early in the dark phase of a light to dark cycle. This rhythm persisted under constant darkness (DD) with a free-running period averaging 23.1 ± 0.3 hr. Although constant bright light made most animals arrhythmic, about 40% of the animals showed free-running rhythms with a period longer than 24 hr under constant dim light condition. On transfer to DD, all arrhythmic animals restored the locomotor rhythm. Bilateral optic nerve severance resulted in free-running of the rhythm even under light-dark cycles. The free-running period of the optic nerve severed animals was significantly longer than sham operated crickets in DD, suggesting that the compound eye plays some role in determining the free-running period. Removal of bilateral lamina-medulla portion of the optic lobe abolished the rhythm under DD. These results demonstrate that the photoreceptor for entrainment is the compound eye and the optic lobe is indispensable for persistence of the rhythm. However, 75% and 54% of the optic lobeless animals showed aberrant rhythms with a period very close to 24 hr under light and temperature cycles, respectively, suggesting that there are neural and/or humoral mechanisms for the aberrant rhythms outside of the optic lobe. Since ocelli removal did not affect the photoperiodically induced rhythm, it is likely that the photoreception for the rhythm is performed through an extraretinal photoreceptor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology