1. Chromosomes and Gene Expression
  2. Neuroscience
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A transcriptomic taxonomy of Drosophila circadian neurons around the clock

  1. Dingbang Ma
  2. Dariusz Przybylski
  3. Katharine C Abruzzi
  4. Matthias Schlichting
  5. Qunlong Li
  6. Xi Long
  7. Michael Rosbash  Is a corresponding author
  1. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brandeis University, United States
  2. Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, United States
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2021;10:e63056 doi: 10.7554/eLife.63056

Abstract

Many different functions are regulated by circadian rhythms, including those orchestrated by discrete clock neurons within animal brains. To comprehensively characterize and assign cell identity to the 75 pairs of Drosophila circadian neurons, we optimized a single cell RNA sequencing method and assayed clock neuron gene expression at different times of day. The data identify at least 17 clock neuron categories with striking spatial regulation of gene expression. Transcription factor regulation is prominent and likely contributes to the robust circadian oscillation of many transcripts, including those that encode cell-surface proteins previously shown to be important for cell recognition and synapse formation during development. The many other clock-regulated genes also constitute an important resource for future mechanistic and functional studies between clock neurons and/or for temporal signaling to circuits elsewhere in the fly brain.

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Author details

  1. Dingbang Ma

    Department of Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brandeis University, Waltham, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-5575-7604
  2. Dariusz Przybylski

    Department of Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brandeis University, Waltham, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Katharine C Abruzzi

    Department of Biology, National Center of Behavioral Genomics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brandeis University, Waltham, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-3949-3095
  4. Matthias Schlichting

    Department of Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brandeis University, Waltham, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-0822-0265
  5. Qunlong Li

    Department of Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brandeis University, Waltham, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Xi Long

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-0268-8641
  7. Michael Rosbash

    Department of Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brandeis University, Waltham, United States
    For correspondence
    rosbash@brandeis.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-3366-1780

Funding

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

  • Dingbang Ma
  • Dariusz Przybylski
  • Katharine C Abruzzi
  • Matthias Schlichting
  • Qunlong Li
  • Xi Long
  • Michael Rosbash

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Amita Sehgal, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Pennsylvania, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: September 13, 2020
  2. Accepted: January 11, 2021
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: January 13, 2021 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2021, Ma et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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