Editors' ChoiceCircadian Biology

Coordinating the Clock

Science Signaling  04 Feb 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 311, pp. ec35
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005142

In flies, the mechanosensory chordotonal organs help to coordinate the effects of temperature on circadian cycles. Simoni et al. provide a mechanism by which mechanosensory input is processed to help to synchronize the biological clock in Drosophila melanogaster. The chordotonal organs, which have similarities to the mammalian ear, were also required for sensation of a vibration stimulus and its effects on the endogenous brain clock. The chordotonal organs, present in the joints of the limbs, provide neuronal signals that allow the animal to sense its position or posture—and thus might mediate feedback of a range of behaviors onto the endogenous biological clock.

A. Simoni, W. Wolfgang, M. P. Topping, R. G. Kavlie, R. Stanewsky, J. T. Albert, A mechanosensory pathway to the Drosophila circadian clock. Science 343, 525–528 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]