GROUP TESSMAR | Molecular Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Populations, Adaptations & Evolution
Lunar periodicity and inner brain photoreceptors
Lunar-controlled rhythms are widespread and of fundamental importance for marine organisms. Simplified phylogeny of metazoan groups with representatives exhibiting moon-controlled rhythms. In most mentioned cases evidence for a free-running lunar clock mechanism exist. All mentioned groups represent marine species. Lunar-controlled rhythms have also been described outside metazoans in green and brown algae (bottom).
The main interest of my lab is to investigate how solar and lunar light are sensed by the nervous system and how this light information impacts on the animals' information processing and endogenous clocks.
In particular, we aim to decipher the neuron types and molecules underlying fundamental, yet unexplored monthly oscillators (so-called circalunar clocks), using the bristle worm Platynereis dumerilii and the midge Clunio marinus.
Moreover, we have recently uncovered the presence of functional opsin photoreceptors in the inter- and motorneurons of medaka fish and zebrafish, and an...