Dynamics of the drosophila circadian clock: Theoretical anti-jitter network and controlled chaos

Academic Article


  • Background: Electronic clocks exhibit undesirable jitter or time variations in periodic signals. The circadian clocks of humans, some animals, and plants consist of oscillating molecular networks with peak-to-peak time of approximately 24 hours. Clockwork orange (CWO) is a transcriptional repressor of Drosophila direct target genes. Methodology/Principal Findings: Theory and data from a model of the Drosophila circadian clock support the idea that CWO controls anti-jitter negative circuits that stabilize peak-to-peak time in light-dark cycles (LD). The orbit is confined to chaotic attractors in both LD and dark cycles and is almost periodic in LD; furthermore, CWO diminishes the Euclidean dimension of the chaotic attractor in LD. Light resets the clock each day by restricting each molecular peak to the proximity of a prescribed time. Conclusions/Significance: The theoretical results suggest that chaos plays a central role in the dynamics of the Drosophila circadian clock and that a single molecule, CWO, may sense jitter and repress it by its negative loops. © 2010 Hassan M. Fathallah-Shaykh.
  • Published In

  • PLoS One  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Fathallah-Shaykh HM
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • 10