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Science 318 (5849): 467-470

Copyright © 2007 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Light-Responsive Cryptochromes from a Simple Multicellular Animal, the Coral Acropora millepora

O. Levy,1 L. Appelbaum,2 W. Leggat,1 Y. Gothlif,3 D. C. Hayward,4,6 D. J. Miller,5,6 O. Hoegh-Guldberg1,5

Abstract: Hundreds of species of reef-building corals spawn synchronously over a few nights each year, and moonlight regulates this spawning event. However, the molecular elements underpinning the detection of moonlight remain unknown. Here we report the presence of an ancient family of blue-light–sensing photoreceptors, cryptochromes, in the reef-building coral Acropora millepora. In addition to being cryptochrome genes from one of the earliest-diverging eumetazoan phyla, cry1 and cry2 were expressed preferentially in light. Consistent with potential roles in the synchronization of fundamentally important behaviors such as mass spawning, cry2 expression increased on full moon nights versus new moon nights. Our results demonstrate phylogenetically broad roles of these ancient circadian clock–related molecules in the animal kingdom.

1 Centre for Marine Studies, University of Queensland, St. Lucia 4072 QLD, Australia.
2 Center for Narcolepsy and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA.
3 Department of Neurobiochemistry, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Israel.
4 Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia.
5 Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD 4811, and University of Queensland, St. Lucia 4072 QLD, Australia.
6 ARC Centre for the Molecular Genetics of Development, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

Chronobiology by moonlight.
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Proc R Soc B 280, 20123088
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Introduction to the Symposium--Keeping Time During Evolution: Conservation and Innovation of the Circadian Clock.
A. M. Tarrant and A. M. Reitzel (2013)
Integr. Comp. Biol. 53, 89-92
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Circadian Clocks in the Cnidaria: Environmental Entrainment, Molecular Regulation, and Organismal Outputs.
A. M. Reitzel, A. M. Tarrant, and O. Levy (2013)
Integr. Comp. Biol. 53, 118-130
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Metazoan Circadian Rhythm: Toward an Understanding of a Light-Based Zeitgeber in Sponges.
W. E. G. Muller, H. C. Schroder, D. Pisignano, J. S. Markl, and X. Wang (2013)
Integr. Comp. Biol. 53, 103-117
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Blue light regulates the rhythm of diurnal vertical migration in the raphidophyte red-tide alga Chattonella antiqua.
T. Shikata, S. Matsunaga, M. Iseki, H. Nishide, S.-I. Higashi, Y. Kamei, M. Yamaguchi, I. R. Jenkinson, and M. Watanabe (2013)
J. Plankton Res. 35, 542-552
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Bacterial Bioluminescence Regulates Expression of a Host Cryptochrome Gene in the Squid-Vibrio Symbiosis.
E. A. C. Heath-Heckman, S. M. Peyer, C. A. Whistler, M. A. Apicella, W. E. Goldman, and M. J. McFall-Ngai (2013)
mBio 4, e00167-13
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Photoreception and Signal Transduction in Corals: Proteomic and Behavioral Evidence for Cytoplasmic Calcium as a Mediator of Light Responsivity.
J. D. Hilton, A. K. Brady, S. A. Spaho, and P. D. Vize (2012)
Biol. Bull. 223, 291-299
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Blue-light-receptive cryptochrome is expressed in a sponge eye lacking neurons and opsin.
A. S. Rivera, N. Ozturk, B. Fahey, D. C. Plachetzki, B. M. Degnan, A. Sancar, and T. H. Oakley (2012)
J. Exp. Biol. 215, 1278-1286
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Long-Wavelength Photosensitivity in Coral Planula Larvae.
B. M. Mason and J. H. Cohen (2012)
Biol. Bull. 222, 88-92
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Effects of Light Dynamics on Coral Spawning Synchrony.
C. A. Boch, B. Ananthasubramaniam, A. M. Sweeney, F. J. Doyle III, and D. E. Morse (2011)
Biol. Bull. 220, 161-173
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Twilight spectral dynamics and the coral reef invertebrate spawning response.
A. M. Sweeney, C. A. Boch, S. Johnsen, and D. E. Morse (2011)
J. Exp. Biol. 214, 770-777
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Complex Diel Cycles of Gene Expression in Coral-Algal Symbiosis.
O. Levy, P. Kaniewska, S. Alon, E. Eisenberg, S. Karako-Lampert, L. K. Bay, R. Reef, M. Rodriguez-Lanetty, D. J. Miller, and O. Hoegh-Guldberg (2011)
Science 331, 175
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
The spectral quality of light is a key driver of photosynthesis and photoadaptation in Stylophora pistillata colonies from different depths in the Red Sea.
T. Mass, D. I. Kline, M. Roopin, C. J. Veal, S. Cohen, D. Iluz, and O. Levy (2010)
J. Exp. Biol. 213, 4084-4091
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Green fluorescent protein regulation in the coral Acropora yongei during photoacclimation.
M. S. Roth, M. I. Latz, R. Goericke, and D. D. Deheyn (2010)
J. Exp. Biol. 213, 3644-3655
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Cryptochromes--a potential magnetoreceptor: what do we know and what do we want to know?.
M. Liedvogel and H. Mouritsen (2010)
J R Soc Interface 7, S147-S162
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Calm before the spawn: global coral spawning patterns are explained by regional wind fields.
R. van Woesik (2010)
Proc R Soc B 277, 715-722
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Neptune's Daughter.
R. Milner (2010)
Science 327, 783
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Transcriptome Analysis of the Circadian Regulatory Network in the Coral Acropora millepora.
P. D. Vize (2009)
Biol. Bull. 216, 131-137
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Phototropic growth in a reef flat acroporid branching coral species.
P. Kaniewska, P. R. Campbell, M. Fine, and O. Hoegh-Guldberg (2009)
J. Exp. Biol. 212, 662-667
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

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