We established a knockout strain of a clock gene, period (per), by using TALEN in a bivoltine strain (Kosetsu) of Bombyx mori (Insecta, Lepidoptera), and examined the effect of per knockout on the circadian rhythm and photoperiodism. The generated per knockout allele was considered to be null, because a new stop codon was present in the insertion allele. The wild type (Kosetsu) showed clear circadian rhythms in eclosion and hatching, whereas the per knockout strain showed arrhythmic eclosion and hatching under constant darkness. In this strain, moreover, temporal expression changes of clock genes per and timeless were disrupted. The wild type showed a clear long-day response for induction of embryonic diapause: when larvae were reared under long-day and short-day conditions at 25°C, adults produced nondiapause and diapause eggs, respectively. However, the per knockout strain lost the sensitivity to photoperiod and laid nondiapause eggs under both conditions. We conclude that per plays an important role both in circadian rhythms and in photoperiodism of B. mori, indicating the involvement of the circadian clock consisting of per in the photoperiodism.
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Vol. 38 • No. 6