Skip to main content


Circadian rhythym in C. elegans

Research Achievements

Circadian rhythym in C. elegans

Researchers have wondered whether the tiny soil-dwelling nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans contains a circadian clock. Circadian rhythmic behaviors described previously in C. elegans were variable, and no genes were known to exhibit gene expression oscillations with 24 hr cycles.IGERT trainees Matthew Beverly and Joseph Rodriquez in the labs of Piali Sengupta and Michael Rosbash joined forces and took on the challenge to identify C. elegans genes under clock control.

Light and temperature cycles both drive and entrain 24 hr oscillations in gene expression in C. elegans. They showed that C. elegans contains genes whose expression cycles in a circadian manner. They found that light and temperature cycles appear to regulate different sets of genes, indicating that these stimuli may entrain two distinct clocks. Moreover, the underlying clock mechanisms may not be dependent on oscillations of known clock genes. This work was published in PLoS Biol 8(10): e1000503. (PMC2953524).