Benelux Congress of Zoology edition:14 location:Amsterdam, The Netherlands date:1 - 2 november
Phase polymorphism and phase transition is typical for Schistocerca. During the solitarious phase, the individuals are mostly active at night whereas animals in the gregary phase are mainly active during daytime. In other words the two phases display opposite diurnal behaviour. By this study we want to find out whether this behavioral difference is reflected in the genes that drive the diurnal clock in this insect. The daily behaviour of every organism seems to be regulated by a complex network of proteins. This network is conserved throughout evolution: from human to bee, from fruit fly to neurospora. Despite some difference between all the organisms, the feedback loops drive the clock in the same way. CLOCK and CYCLE promote the expression of the genes period en timeless what results in their own downregulation. These clock proteins have a very important output on for example behaviour.
We started studying gene transcription of per and tim by quantitative real time PCR during a 24 hr period using samples collected at 3 hours intervals. Based on the so far obtained results it is clear that there is no 12 hours clock shift between the individuals of both phases.