Circadian timing in central and peripheral tissues in a migratory songbird: Dependence on annual life-history states

Devraj Singh, Amit Kumar Trivedi, Sangeeta Rani, Satchidananda Panda, Vinod Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Predictable seasonal change in photoperiod triggers a sequential change in the daily activity-rest pattern, adaptive formigration in several bird species. The night-migratory black-headed bunting (Emberiza melanocephala) is day active under short photoperiods (8 h light:16 h dark, short day sensitive). Under long photoperiods (16 h light:8 h dark), the buntings are initiallyday active (long day premigratory) but subsequently become intensely night active (long day migratory) and after few weeks again return to a day active pattern (long day refractory). However, it is unclear how the daily expression of circadian genes changes during photoperiod-induced seasonal lifehistory states (LHSs). We measured period 2 (Per2), cryptochrome 1 (Cry1), brain and muscle arnt-like protein 1 (Bmal1), and circadian locomotor output cycles kaput (Clock) mRNA expressions in various neural and peripheral tissues of buntings in different LHSs and discovered differences of ∼2 to 6 h in the phase and 2- to 4-fold in amplitudeof circadian oscillations of Per2,Cry1, and Bmal1 between photoperiod-induced LHSs. Phase relationship in mRNA oscillations was altered between oscillator components in the circadian pacemaker system (retina, pineal, hypothalamus) as well as in the peripheral (liver, muscle) tissues. These results show for the first time altered waveforms of clock gene expressions in all tissues in parallel with behavioral shifts and suggest the involvement of circadian system in photoperiod induction of seasonal LHSs in a migratory species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4248-4255
Number of pages8
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 FASEB.


  • Black-headed bunting
  • Bmal1
  • Circadian genes
  • Clock
  • Cryptochrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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