The recent development of molecular genetic technology is promoting studies on the clock mechanism of various non-model insect species, revealing diversity and commonality of their molecular clock machinery. Like in Drosophila, their clocks generally consist of clock genes including period, timeless, Clock, and cycle, except for hymenopteran species which lack timeless in their genome. Unlike in Drosophila, however, some insects show vertebrate-like traits: The clock machinery involves mammalian type cryptochrome, cycle is rhythmically expressed, and Clock is constitutively expressed. Although the oscillatory mechanisms of the clock are still to be investigated in most insects, RNAi and genome editing technology should accelerate the study, leading toward understanding the origin of variable overt behavioral rhythms such as nocturnal, diurnal, and crepuscular activity rhythms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Insect Science