Photoreception in decapitated larvae of silkworm Bombyx mori
Article first published online: 17 MAY 2012
© 2012 The Entomological Society of Japan
Volume 15, Issue 4, pages 392–399, October 2012
How to Cite
NOBATA, H., OISHI, K., TAKEDA, M. and SAKAMOTO, K. (2012), Photoreception in decapitated larvae of silkworm Bombyx mori. Entomological Science, 15: 392–399. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-8298.2012.00526.x
- Issue published online: 4 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 17 MAY 2012
- Received 17 January 2012; accepted 14 March 2012.
- clock genes;
- daily rhythm;
- gene expression;
- peripheral tissues;
- phase shift
To investigate the photoreception that controls daily oscillations at the periphery in insects, we decapitated larvae of the silkworm Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) by ligature, and observed rhythms in their peripheral tissues under several light conditions. We measured the mRNA expression of period (per) and timeless (tim), which are homologues of Drosophila clock genes that function in the core oscillator of the circadian clock system. The expression of both per and tim significantly changed in the midgut, Malpighian tubules and silk glands of decapitated larvae exposed to photophase and scotophase that were reversed from the original daily light–dark cycle under which the larvae were housed. Under constant darkness, the daily expression of tim mRNA persisted for at least one cycle in the midgut and silk gland. In addition, an appropriate light stimulus under constant darkness induced a significant phase shift in the endogenous timing system (probably a circadian clock) that determined peak levels of tim mRNA expression in the midgut and silk glands of decapitated larvae. Since light regulated the gene expression rhythm in peripheral tissues of decapitated silkworm larvae, neither the brain nor eyes were essential for photoreception to control daily oscillations in these tissues. Thus, peripheral tissues in insects might directly use light even at the larval stage.