Citation Davie A, Minghetti M & Migaud H (2009) Seasonal Variations in Clock-Gene Expression in Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar). Chronobiology International, 26 (3), pp. 379-395. https://doi.org/10.1080/07420520902820947
Abstract In homeothermic vertebrates inhabiting temperate latitudes, it is clear that the seasonal changes in daylength are decoded by the master circadian clock which through secondary messengers, like pineal melatonin secretion, entrains rhythmic physiology to local conditions. In contrast, the entrainment and neuroendocrine regulation of rhythmic physiology in temperate teleosts is not as clear, primarily due to the lack of understanding of the clock gene system in these species. In this study we analyzed the diel expression of the clock genes in brains of Atlantic salmon, a species that is both highly photoperiodic and displays robust clock-controlled behavior. Atlantic salmon parr were acclimated to either long (LD) or short day (SD) photoperiods for one month and thereafter sampled at 4 h intervals over a 24 h cycle. Clock, Bmal1, per2, and cry2 were all actively expressed in salmon brain homogenates and, with the exception of per2, all displayed rhythmic expression under SD photoperiods that parallels that reported in zebrafish. Interestingly, daylength significantly altered the mRNA expression of all clock genes studied with Clock, Bmal1, and per2 all becoming arrhythmic under the LD compared to SD photoperiod, while cry2 expression was phase delayed under LD. It is thus proposed that the clock gene system is actively expressed in Atlantic salmon and, furthermore, as has been reported in homeothermic vertebrates, it appears that clock expression is daylength-dependent.