Light Sensitivity of the Biological Clock

  • S. Rani
  • S. Singh
  • V. Kumar


Light is a ubiquitous input from the environment used by most species in one way or the other in regulation of their short and/ or long term activities. A response to light, the photoperiodic response, is the result of the interpretation of light input by the neuroendocrine machinery, collectively called the photoperiodic response system (PRS). Apart from the duration, gradual shifts in the intensity and wavelength of daily light are critical in regulation of the light (photic) sensitivity of the PRS. There is a direct relationship between the rate of initiation of a photoperiodic response and the intensity of light until the threshold is reached. A light wavelength to which PRS is maximally sensitive, or to which it has greater access, will induce a maximal response. There can also be differential effects of wavelength and intensity of light on circadian process(es) involved in the entrainment and induction of the photoperiodic clock, which may have adaptive implications. Synchronization to daily light-dark (LD) cycle may be achieved at dawn or dusk, depending whether the animal is day- or night-active, when there is relatively low intensity of light. By contrast, photoperiodic induction in many species occurs during long days of spring and summer when plenty of daylight at higher intensity is available later in the day.


Light Wavelength Japanese Quail Circadian System Biological Clock Photoperiodic Response 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Rani
    • 1
  • S. Singh
    • 1
  • V. Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of LucknowLucknowIndia

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