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Laboratory and field chronobiology in subterranean rodents (Ctenomys aff. knighti)


Biological rhythms with 24h periods are synchronized by environmental cycles such as the daily light/dark and temperature cycles of the Earth. Subterranean organisms are interesting systems for rhythm studies because they inhabit extreme environments where external cycles are largely attenuated. We have developed a chronobiological study on the tuco-tuco (Ctenomys aff. knighti), which is a subterranean rodent species that is endemic of South America. They display daily activity and body temperature rhythms which are synchronized to light/dark cycles, both in laboratory and in the field. Tuco-tucos are clearly nocturnal in the laboratory. However, in the field they display day-time activity which is associated to foraging. This nocturnal/diurnal discrepancy between lab and field conditions had already been described in two more rodent species, indicating the importance of performing chronobiological investigations in wild species in their natural contexts. There are several hypothesis behind the nocturnal/diurnal discrepancy between lab and field conditions and it is our objective to approach the two main propositions 1) discrepancy between the artificial and natural daily light exposure patterns that leads to distinct photic entrainment; 2) discrepancy between the artificial ad libitum food condition in the lab and the need to "work for food" in the field, leading to great energy expenditure for foraging. Thermoregulatory adjustments associated to this new energetic demands could feed-back into the circadian organization of physiology and behavior. Our parallel field and lab approach indicates that subterranean tuco-tucos are excellent for investigating these two hypothesis. (AU)

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Scientific publications (4)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
TACHINARDI, PATRICIA; VALENTINUZZI, VERONICA S.; ODA, GISELE A.; BUCK, C. LOREN. The Interplay of Energy Balance and Daily Timing of Activity in a Subterranean Rodent: A Laboratory and Field Approach. PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOCHEMICAL ZOOLOGY, v. 90, n. 5, p. 546-552, . (12/23393-5, 14/20671-0, 12/15767-2)
TACHINARDI, PATRICIA; TOIEN, OIVIND; VALENTINUZZI, VERONICA S.; BUCK, C. LOREN; ODA, GISELE A.. Nocturnal to Diurnal Switches with Spontaneous Suppression of Wheel-Running Behavior in a Subterranean Rodent. PLoS One, v. 10, n. 10, . (12/23393-5, 12/15767-2, 13/50482-1, 12/16362-6)
TACHINARDI, PATRICIA; WILKEN BICUDO, JOSE EDUARDO; ODA, GISELE AKEMI; SANDRA VALENTINUZZI, VERONICA. Rhythmic 24 h Variation of Core Body Temperature and Locomotor Activity in a Subterranean Rodent (Ctenomys aff. knighti), the Tuco-Tuco. PLoS One, v. 9, n. 1, . (10/50222-1, 12/15767-2, 10/03565-0)
FLORES, DANILO E. F. L.; JANNETTI, MILENE G.; VALENTINUZZI, VERONICA S.; ODA, GISELE A.. Entrainment of circadian rhythms to irregular light/dark cycles: a subterranean perspective. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 6, . (12/15767-2, 13/50482-1, 11/24120-0, 14/20671-0, 14/09324-6)

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