Photoperiodic modulation of circadian functions in Antarctic krill Euphausia superba Dana, 1850 (Euphausiacea)


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berenike.bick [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

An endogenous circadian clock influences metabolic output rhythms in the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superbaDana, 1850), a key species in the Southern Ocean ecosystem. Seasonal changes in photoperiod in Antarctica, ranging from midnight sun (24 h light) during mid-summer to very short days (3–4 h light) during mid-winter, represent a challenge for the synchronization of the krill circadian clock. We analyzed clock gene activity and clock output functions in krill exposed to different light conditions during a long-term photoperiodic simulation in the laboratory. In simulated early-autumn (light/dark or LD 16:8) and late-winter (LD 8:16) conditions, the circadian clock of krill was functional and the metabolic output was synchronized to the light/dark cycle, the clock genes Esper and Esclk peaked in antiphase around simulated dusk/dawn and most metabolic-related genes showed upregulation around simulated dusk. In contrast, in simulated mid-summer (light/light or LL) and mid-winter (LD 3:21) conditions, the synchronization of the circadian clock and the metabolic output appeared to be weaker, with clock gene expression becoming arrhythmic and upregulation of metabolic genes occurring at different times during the day. Early-autumn and late-winter photoperiodic cues in the laboratory thus seem to be sufficient to entrain the krill clock and promote metabolic synchronization, whereas mid-winter and mid-summer photoperiodic cues seem to be insufficient for krill entrainment. Krill in the field may overcome the seasonal lack of overt photoperiodic cycle occurring during mid-summer and mid-winter by using alternative light-related Zeitgebers (i.e., varying light intensity rather than the presence or absence of light) to promote basic homeostatic rhythms over 24 h.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
48358
DOI 10.1093/jcbiol/ruy035

Cite as
Piccolin, F. , Meyer, B. , Biscontin, A. , De Pittà, C. , Kawaguchi, S. and Teschke, M. (2018): Photoperiodic modulation of circadian functions in Antarctic krill Euphausia superba Dana, 1850 (Euphausiacea) , Journal of Crustacean Biology, pp. 1-9 . doi: 10.1093/jcbiol/ruy035


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