Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology vol:41 issue:5 pages:313-321
The circadian clocks govern many metabolic and behavioral processes in an organism. In insects, these clocks and their molecular machinery have been found to influence reproduction in many different ways. Reproductive behavior including courtship, copulation and egg deposition, is under strong influence of the daily rhythm. At the molecular level, the individual clock components also have their role in normal progress of oogenesis and spermatogenesis. In this study on the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria, three circadian clock genes were identified and their expression profiles were determined. High expression was predominantly found in reproductive tissues. Similar daily expression profiles were found for period (per) and timeless (tim), while the clock (clk) mRNA level is higher 12h before the first per and tim peak. A knockdown of either per or tim resulted in a significant decrease in the progeny produced by dsRNA treated females confirming the role of clock genes in reproduction and providing evidence that both PER and TIM are needed in the ovaries for egg development. Since the knockdown of clk is lethal for the desert locust, its function remains yet to be elucidated.