Latitudinal variation in circadian rhythmicity in Nasonia vitripennis

Paolucci, S., Dalla Benetta, E., Salis, L., Dolezel, D., van de Zande, L. & Beukeboom, L. W., 15-Nov-2019, In : Behavioral Sciences. 9, 11, 9 p., 115.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Many physiological processes of living organisms show circadian rhythms, governed by an endogenous clock. This clock has a genetic basis and is entrained by external cues, such as light and temperature. Other physiological processes exhibit seasonal rhythms, that are also responsive to light and temperature. We previously reported a natural latitudinal cline of photoperiodic diapause induction in the parasitic wasp Nasonia vitripennis in Europe and a correlated haplotype frequency for the circadian clock gene period (per). To evaluate if this correlation is reflected in circadian behaviour, we investigated the circadian locomotor activity of seven populations from the cline. We found that the proportion of rhythmic males was higher than females in constant darkness, and that mating decreased rhythmicity of both sexes. Only for virgin females, the free running period (tau) increased weakly with latitude. Wasps from the most southern locality had an overall shorter free running rhythm and earlier onset, peak, and offset of activity during the 24 h period, than wasps from the northernmost locality. We evaluated this variation in rhythmicity as a function of period haplotype frequencies in the populations and discussed its functional significance in the context of local adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 15-Nov-2019


  • circadian clock, Nasonia vitripennis, latitudinal cline, free running period, period, PHOTOPERIODIC RESPONSE, ACTIVITY PATTERNS, TIME MEASUREMENT, CLOCK GENE, LINDEN BUG, PERIOD, ORGANIZATION, VARIABILITY, EVOLUTION

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