Circadian clock genes, ovarian development and diapause
Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5289, USA
BMC Biology 2010, 8:115 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-115Published: 3 September 2010
Insects, like most organisms, have an internal circadian clock that oscillates with a daily rhythmicity, and a timing mechanism that mediates seasonal events, including diapause. In research published in BMC Biology, Ikeno et al. show that downregulation of the circadian clock genes period and cycle affects expression of ovarian diapause in the insect Riptortus pedestris. They interpret these important results as support for Erwin Bünning's (1936) hypothesis that the circadian clock constitutes the basis of photoperiodism. However, their observations could also be the result of pleiotropic effects of the individual clock genes.