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Circadian rhythmicity and reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster

Kleinman, D. M. (2013) Circadian rhythmicity and reproduction in Drosophila melanogaster. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Abstract

Most species are adapted to rhythmic environments to improve survival and reproduction. In Drosophila melanogaster, rhythmicity and reproduction are well documented. I address how circadian rhythms affect reproduction and discuss the evolutionary relevance. Rhythms in locomotor activity, mating, courtship song and pheromone perception influence reproduction within Drosophila melanogaster but also between Drosophila species. Mutations in clock genes including Period lower reproductive fitness in males. Period encodes locomotor activity rhythms, but uncertain is whether this contributed to evolution by temporal reproductive isolation. Mating rhythms differ from locomotor activity and as hypothesized, males adapt activity rhythms in context of females responsible therefor, due to rhythmic female responses to courtship song and pheromone perception. Courtship song has species-specific properties allowing species recognition to prevent interspecies mating, thus possibly driving speciation. Separate clock mechanisms are present in olfactory systems accounting for rhythmic pheromone perception. Pheromones differ between species and indeed contribute to species recognition, but the role of circadian rhythmicity herein remains speculative. Species-specific rhythmicity in reproduction is likely due to both temporal and spatial reproductive isolation. Studies of environmental factors linked to rhythms in reproductive behavior are recommended as much remains unknown. Additionally, mostly laboratory schemes are utilized that are proven not to support all natural observations, addressing the need for more realistic research environments. The evolutionary background of interspecies differences in discussed rhythms remains mostly speculative. Thus, further research of interspecies differences could provide a better understanding of evolution of rhythmic reproductive behavior.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:53
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:53
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/11052

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