RNA interference of the clock gene period disrupts circadian rhythms in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus

Yoshiyuki Moriyama, Tomoaki Sakamoto, Svetlana G. Karpova, Akira Matsumoto, Sumihare Noji, Kenji Tomioka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Citations (Scopus)


Periodic expression of so-called clock genes is an essential part of the circadian clock. In Drosophila melanogaster the cyclic expression of per and tim through an autoregulatory feedback loop is believed to play a central role in circadian rhythm generation. However, it is still elusive whether this hypothesis is applicable to other insect species. Here it is shown that per gene plays a key role in the rhythm generation in the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus. Measurement of per mRNA levels in the optic lobe revealed the rhythmic expression of per in light cycles with a peak in the late day to early night, persisting in constant darkness. A single injection of per double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into the abdomen of the final instar nymphs effectively knocked down the mRNA levels as adult to about 50% of control animals. Most of the per dsRNA-injected crickets completely lost the circadian locomotor activity rhythm in constant darkness up to 50 days after the injection, whereas those injected with DsRed2 dsRNA as a negative control clearly maintained it. The electrical activity of optic lobe efferents also became arrhythmic in the per dsRNA-injected crickets. These results not only suggest that per plays an important role in the circadian rhythm generation also in the cricket but also show that RNA interference is a powerful tool to dissect the molecular machinery of the cricket circadian clock.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-318
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of biological rhythms
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • Circadian rhythm
  • Clock genes
  • Cricket
  • Locomotor activity
  • Period
  • RNAi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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