The role of clockwork orange in the circadian clock of the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus

Yasuaki Tomiyama, Tsugumichi Shinohara, Mirai Matsuka, Tetsuya Bando, Taro Mito, Kenji Tomioka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The circadian clock generates rhythms of approximately 24 h through periodic expression of the clock genes. In insects, the major clock genes period (per) and timeless (tim) are rhythmically expressed upon their transactivation by CLOCK/CYCLE, with peak levels in the early night. In Drosophila, clockwork orange (cwo) is known to inhibit the transcription of per and tim during the daytime to enhance the amplitude of the rhythm, but its function in other insects is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of cwo in the clock mechanism of the cricket Gryllus bimaculatus. The results of quantitative RT-PCR showed that under a light/dark (LD) cycle, cwo is rhythmically expressed in the optic lobe (lamina-medulla complex) and peaks during the night. When cwo was knocked down via RNA interference (RNAi), some crickets lost their locomotor rhythm, while others maintained a rhythm but exhibited a longer free-running period under constant darkness (DD). In cwoRNAi crickets, all clock genes except for cryptochrome 2 (cry2) showed arrhythmic expression under DD; under LD, some of the clock genes showed higher mRNA levels, and tim showed rhythmic expression with a delayed phase. Based on these results, we propose that cwo plays an important role in the cricket circadian clock.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalZoological Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Circadian clock
  • Clock gene
  • Clockwork orange
  • Cricket
  • Locomotor rhythm
  • Molecular oscillation
  • cry2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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