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Expression patterns of cryptochrome genes in avian retina suggest involvement of Cry4 in light-dependent magnetoreception

Pinzon-Rodriguez, Atticus LU ; Bensch, Staffan LU and Muheim, Rachel LU (2018) In Journal of the Royal Society Interface 15(140).
Abstract

The light-dependent magnetic compass of birds provides orientation information about the spatial alignment of the geomagnetic field. It is proposed to be located in the avian retina, and be mediated by a light-induced, biochemical radical-pair mechanism involving cryptochromes as putative receptor molecules. At the same time, cryptochromes are known for their role in the negative feedback loop in the circadian clock. We measured gene expression of Cry1, Cry2 and Cry4 in the retina, muscle and brain of zebra finches over the circadian day to assess whether they showed any circadian rhythmicity. We hypothesized that retinal cryptochromes involved in magnetoreception should be expressed at a constant level over the circadian day, because... (More)

The light-dependent magnetic compass of birds provides orientation information about the spatial alignment of the geomagnetic field. It is proposed to be located in the avian retina, and be mediated by a light-induced, biochemical radical-pair mechanism involving cryptochromes as putative receptor molecules. At the same time, cryptochromes are known for their role in the negative feedback loop in the circadian clock. We measured gene expression of Cry1, Cry2 and Cry4 in the retina, muscle and brain of zebra finches over the circadian day to assess whether they showed any circadian rhythmicity. We hypothesized that retinal cryptochromes involved in magnetoreception should be expressed at a constant level over the circadian day, because birds use a light-dependent magnetic compass for orientation not only during migration, but also for spatial orientation tasks in their daily life. Cryptochromes serving in circadian tasks, on the other hand, are expected to be expressed in a rhythmic (circadian) pattern. Cry1 and Cry2 displayed a daily variation in the retina as expected for circadian clock genes, while Cry4 expressed at constant levels over time. We conclude that Cry4 is the most likely candidate magnetoreceptor of the light-dependent magnetic compass in birds.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Circadian clock, Circadian rhythm, Clock genes, Magnetic compass, Orientation
in
Journal of the Royal Society Interface
volume
15
issue
140
publisher
Royal Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:85048712332
ISSN
1742-5689
DOI
10.1098/rsif.2018.0058
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
13fef00c-5571-4c5d-8048-ba9d7da7b99a
date added to LUP
2018-07-02 11:11:06
date last changed
2019-04-23 04:35:40
@article{13fef00c-5571-4c5d-8048-ba9d7da7b99a,
  abstract     = {<p>The light-dependent magnetic compass of birds provides orientation information about the spatial alignment of the geomagnetic field. It is proposed to be located in the avian retina, and be mediated by a light-induced, biochemical radical-pair mechanism involving cryptochromes as putative receptor molecules. At the same time, cryptochromes are known for their role in the negative feedback loop in the circadian clock. We measured gene expression of Cry1, Cry2 and Cry4 in the retina, muscle and brain of zebra finches over the circadian day to assess whether they showed any circadian rhythmicity. We hypothesized that retinal cryptochromes involved in magnetoreception should be expressed at a constant level over the circadian day, because birds use a light-dependent magnetic compass for orientation not only during migration, but also for spatial orientation tasks in their daily life. Cryptochromes serving in circadian tasks, on the other hand, are expected to be expressed in a rhythmic (circadian) pattern. Cry1 and Cry2 displayed a daily variation in the retina as expected for circadian clock genes, while Cry4 expressed at constant levels over time. We conclude that Cry4 is the most likely candidate magnetoreceptor of the light-dependent magnetic compass in birds.</p>},
  articleno    = {20180058},
  author       = {Pinzon-Rodriguez, Atticus and Bensch, Staffan and Muheim, Rachel},
  issn         = {1742-5689},
  keyword      = {Circadian clock,Circadian rhythm,Clock genes,Magnetic compass,Orientation},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {01},
  number       = {140},
  publisher    = {Royal Society},
  series       = {Journal of the Royal Society Interface},
  title        = {Expression patterns of cryptochrome genes in avian retina suggest involvement of Cry4 in light-dependent magnetoreception},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2018.0058},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2018},
}