Investigation of the circadian rhythm of locomotion in the rough-skinned newt, Taricha granulosa Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/vd66w261r

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  • Over 56,000 hours of locomotor activity of Taricha granulosa were recorded using two types of low cylindrical plastic monitoring chambers. This species shows distinct rhythms of activity under normal day-night cycles, shortened day-night cycles, constant darkness (DD) and constant light (LL). The rough-skinned newt is day active and crepuscular. I found that 62% of the animals tested show their peak activity within 8 hours of the light-on cue and 71% within 12 hours. The activity peaks are random with respect to the light-off cue. In addition they follow "Aschoff's Rule" for circadian rhythms as it applies to day-active animals: (1) They show a longer period under DD (mean = 24.72 hours) than LL (mean = 23.7 hours) and (2) the period decreased with increasing intensity of light under LL. However, the number of animals which show arrhythmia increased with increasing intensity. Entrainment to the light-dark cycle is evident and the activity cycle could be phase-shifted by changing the phase relationship of the light cue. Although newts can entrain to temperature pulses (cold from 9°C to 4°C) under constant light, they entrain to the light cycle when given a choice between light and temperature. Activity generally ceases below 6°C regardless of the state of the light-dark cycle. There is no apparent difference between eyeless and intact newts in the ability to use light cues in entrainment. The site of the receptor was narrowed only to the dorsal midbrain. An hypothesis relating conflicting behavior in the field and the laboratory is presented. Also, an hypothetical model is presented of the interrelationship between exogenous and endogenous factors in locomotor rhythm control.
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