Effects of light on the circadian clock of Drosophila melanogaster
The circadian clock of Drosophila melanogaster controls many physiological and behavioral processes, which can be entrained to daily rhythms using environmental cues like light-dark cycles. One component involved in light-input to the clock is the membrane-anchored protein Quasimodo. It is hypothesized to light-dependently interact with other membrane proteins like cation chloride cotransporters in order to modulate daily changes in neuronal excitability and GABA polarity in clock neurons.
In my project I am using genetic, molecular and behavioral approaches to further investigate the function of Quasimodo and the cation chloride cotransporters within the circadian system and how rhythmic neuronal excitability might feed back to the clock.