Circadian rhythms of adult emergence and activity but not eclosion in males of the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis

Rinaldo C. Bertossa*, Jeroen van Dijk, Domien G. Beersma, Leo W. Beukeboom

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

An endogenous circadian system is responsible for the rhythms observed in many physiological and behavioural traits in most organisms. In insects, the circadian system controls the periodicity of eclosion, egg-laying, locomotor and mating activity. The parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis has been extensively used to study the role of the circadian system in photoperiodism. In this study, behavioural activities expected to be under the control of the endogenous circadian system were characterized in Nasonia. Male emergence from the host puparium is rhythmic under light–darkness conditions while eclosion from the own pupal integument is not rhythmic but continuous. Following entrainment in light–dark conditions, males show robust free-running circadian activity rhythms with a period (τ, tau) of approximately 25.6 h in constant darkness. While the endogenous circadian system is enough to trigger male emergence in Nasonia, light seems to have a modulatory effect: when present it induces more males to emerge. Our results add to the understanding of chronobiological phenotypes in insects and provide a basis towards the molecular characterization of the endogenous circadian system in Nasonia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-812
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Insect Physiology
Volume56
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2010

Keywords

  • Hymenoptera
  • Haplo-diploid
  • Endogenous circadian system
  • Parasitoid
  • Free-running rhythm
  • Eclosion and emergence
  • DROSOPHILA-MELANOGASTER
  • PHOTOPERIODIC CLOCK
  • PERIOD
  • OSCILLATORS
  • COURTSHIP
  • DIAPAUSE
  • BEHAVIOR
  • ECDYSIS
  • BIOLOGY
  • GENE

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