For over 60 years, many species of insects and mites have been known to respond in an adaptive way to seasonal changes in daylength. Responses to photoperiod allow them to survive periods of unfavorable environmental conditions. Since the early 1950s, light-sensitive and temperature-compensated circadian clocks have also been known to regulate the timing of many events (behavioral, physiological, biochemical) in all eukaryotic organisms, including insects and mites. Over the past 30 years, considerable effort has been directed at elucidation of the nature of the clock mechanism that underlies photoperiodism. Mathematical models using a number of insect systems have been developed that attempt to causally relate the circadian clock to photoperiodic time measurement. Although some experimental evidence supports these circadian-based models, some insects and mites appear to utilize a non-periodic hourglass timer as the photoperiodic clock. Future work in this field would benefit by following the approach that has proven to be very successful in identifying genes and gene products that regulate circadian rhythmicity in .


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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