This fly paper caught my eye. It examines how Drosophila monitors daily temperature changes via network of circadian clock regulated neurons. It seems the fly continually integrates temperature informations in order to coordinate sleep and activity patterns.
The work shows that nodes within the circadian network are sensitive to brief changes in temperature, and show that particular neurons are inhibited by heating and excited by cooling. It seems also that light and temperature are processed in distinct ways in the clock neutron network.
Interested to see the use of a fluorescent protein tool called CaMPARI that photo-converts from green to red in proportion to Ca2+ levels – could this be used in plant work? Would require both light (photo-activation) and temperature manipulation…
The kinetics of temperature response was monitored by measuring intracellular Ca2+ concentrations using a calcium sensor called GCaMP6m and showed that particular neurons showed increases in intracellular calcium during cooling and decreases during heating.
The authors state that their findings reveal that the circadian network transduces brief and transient temperature changes and prolonged increases in temperature in distinct ways.
Thermoreceptors are found in structures in the antennae, called the aristae. Each arista contains both cold-sensitive and heat-sensitive cells. From their figure (below), they found that the responses to cooling and heating were attenuated when the aristae was removed.
This work is interesting to use since we are trying to understand how plants respond to everyday changes in temperature – both short-term (daily fluctuations) and long term (seasonal) changes in temperature.