Circadian clocks in the brain are organized as coupled oscillators that integrate seasonal cues such as light and temperature to time daily behaviors. In Drosophila, the PIGMENT DISPERSING FACTOR (PDF) neuropeptide-expressing morning (M) and non-PDF evening (E) cells are coupled cell groups important for morning and evening behavior, respectively. Depending on day length, either M cells (short days) or E cells (long days) dictate both the morning and the evening phase, a phenomenon that we term network hierarchy. To examine the role of PDF in light-dark conditions, we examined flies lacking both the PDF receptor (PDFR) and the circadian photoreceptor CRYPTOCHROME (CRY). We found that subsets of E cells exhibit molecular oscillations antiphase to those of wild-type flies, single cry mutants, or single Pdfr mutants, demonstrating a potent role for PDF in light-mediated entrainment, specifically in the absence of CRY. Moreover, we find that the evening behavioral phase is more strongly reset by PDF(+) M cells in the absence of CRY. On the basis of our findings, we propose that CRY can gate PDF signaling to determine behavioral phase and network hierarchy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)