University researchers discover "circatidal pacemaker"

Posted by ap507 at Sep 26, 2013 05:05 PM |
Department of Genetics researchers publish new discovery into body clock of coastal animals
University researchers discover "circatidal pacemaker"

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Experts from our Department of Genetics have published a paper in Current Biology which reveals the discovery of an independent body clock driving coastal animals’ tidal rhythms which is separate from their 24-hour body clock.

The paper, Dissociation of Circadian and Circatidal Timekeeping in the Marine Crustacean Eurydice pulchra, follows nearly ten years of research by University geneticists.

The results of the research show that tidal behaviour is not governed by the circadian clock, the genetically encoded ‘body clock’ which controls the rhythmic behaviour and physiology of almost every terrestrial higher organism, but is instead controlled by a dedicated 12.4-hour “circatidal pacemaker”.

The researchers believe these findings suggest that many other coastal animals will have similar circatidal systems.

The team have now secured a new four-year grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council to sequence the Eurydice pulchra genome.

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