Behavioral and molecular analyses suggest that circadian output is disrupted by disconnected mutants in D. melanogaster.
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Mutations in the disconnected (disco) gene act to disrupt neural cell patterning in the Drosophila visual system. These mutations also affect adult locomotor activity rhythms, as disco flies are arrhythmic under conditions of constant darkness (DD). To determine the state of the circadian pacemaker in disco mutants, we constructed with pers double mutants (a short period allele of the period gene) and assayed their behavioral rhythms in light-dark cycles (LD), and their biochemical rhythms of period gene expression under both LD and DD conditions. The results demonstrate that disco flies are rhythmic, indicating that they have an active circadian pacemaker that can be entrained by light. They also suggest that disco mutants block or interfere with elements of the circadian system located between the central pacemaker and its outputs that mediate overt rhythms.
author list (cited authors)
Hardin, P. E., Hall, J. C., & Rosbash, M.