Project Title

Effects of Non-photic Zeitgebers on the Circadian Clock in the Common House Spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum

Authors' Affiliations

Mattea A. Garmany, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN Darrell Moore, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN Thomas C. Jones, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-12-2019 9:00 AM

End Date

4-12-2019 2:30 PM

Poster Number

23

Faculty Sponsor’s Department

Biological Sciences

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Thomas Jones

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Project's Category

Circadian Rhythms, Biological Adaptation, Physiology

Abstract Text

Most eukaryotic organisms have an internal circadian clock which allows them to maintain their physiological and behavioral cycles in phase with the 24-hour day. The ability to synchronize with (entrain to) the 24-hour day prevents mismatch between the internal circadian clock and the daily cycle which could lead to serious health risks. Some spider species, including Parasteatoda tepidariorum, appear to be exempt from the negative consequences of being out of phase with the 24-hour day. Parasteatoda tepidariorum, the common house spider, is a nocturnal species that consistently demonstrates a short-period circadian clock averaging 21.6 hours when left in constant darkness, yet they are able to entrain to the 24-hour light cycle. Here we test if these spiders are able to use cues (Zeitgebers) other than light to entrain to the 24-hour day. These non-photic Zeitgebers included food, disturbance, and temperature changes. The spiders were assigned into groups which received the given external cues at 24-hour intervals for 7 days followed by 7 days without any external cues. Food, disturbance, and temperature were not found to be effective Zeitgebers for the spiders’ entrainment. There were significant results between random feedings with consistent scheduled feedings which suggests that these spiders were able to manipulate the duration of activity based on the consistency and regularity of a food source. Adjusting the span of activity based on availability of food sources would be advantageous for spiders considering that prey availability in natural environments may not be rhythmic. Given that these spiders tend to build webs in dark secluded spaces, it would be a particular advantage for them to be able to use an environmental cue in addition to light to entrain their internal clocks. However, our data to date suggest otherwise.

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Apr 12th, 9:00 AM Apr 12th, 2:30 PM

Effects of Non-photic Zeitgebers on the Circadian Clock in the Common House Spider, Parasteatoda tepidariorum

Ballroom

Most eukaryotic organisms have an internal circadian clock which allows them to maintain their physiological and behavioral cycles in phase with the 24-hour day. The ability to synchronize with (entrain to) the 24-hour day prevents mismatch between the internal circadian clock and the daily cycle which could lead to serious health risks. Some spider species, including Parasteatoda tepidariorum, appear to be exempt from the negative consequences of being out of phase with the 24-hour day. Parasteatoda tepidariorum, the common house spider, is a nocturnal species that consistently demonstrates a short-period circadian clock averaging 21.6 hours when left in constant darkness, yet they are able to entrain to the 24-hour light cycle. Here we test if these spiders are able to use cues (Zeitgebers) other than light to entrain to the 24-hour day. These non-photic Zeitgebers included food, disturbance, and temperature changes. The spiders were assigned into groups which received the given external cues at 24-hour intervals for 7 days followed by 7 days without any external cues. Food, disturbance, and temperature were not found to be effective Zeitgebers for the spiders’ entrainment. There were significant results between random feedings with consistent scheduled feedings which suggests that these spiders were able to manipulate the duration of activity based on the consistency and regularity of a food source. Adjusting the span of activity based on availability of food sources would be advantageous for spiders considering that prey availability in natural environments may not be rhythmic. Given that these spiders tend to build webs in dark secluded spaces, it would be a particular advantage for them to be able to use an environmental cue in addition to light to entrain their internal clocks. However, our data to date suggest otherwise.