Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Telling the Time with a Broken Clock: Quantifying Circadian Disruption in Animal Models
Previous Article in Journal
Targeting White Adipose Tissue with Exercise or Bariatric Surgery as Therapeutic Strategies in Obesity
Previous Article in Special Issue
Episodic Ultradian Events—Ultradian Rhythms
Article Menu
Issue 1 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Biology 2019, 8(1), 17;

Circadian Clocks in Fish—What Have We Learned so far?

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, 21 University Street, London WC1E 6DE, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Clocks)
PDF [2466 KB, uploaded 19 March 2019]


Zebrafish represent the one alternative vertebrate, genetic model system to mice that can be easily manipulated in a laboratory setting. With the teleost Medaka (Oryzias latipes), which now has a significant following, and over 30,000 other fish species worldwide, there is great potential to study the biology of environmental adaptation using teleosts. Zebrafish are primarily used for research on developmental biology, for obvious reasons. However, fish in general have also contributed to our understanding of circadian clock biology in the broadest sense. In this review, we will discuss selected areas where this contribution seems most unique. This will include a discussion of the issue of central versus peripheral clocks, in which zebrafish played an early role; the global nature of light sensitivity; and the critical role played by light in regulating cell biology. In addition, we also discuss the importance of the clock in controlling the timing of fundamental aspects of cell biology, such as the temporal control of the cell cycle. Many of these findings are applicable to the majority of vertebrate species. However, some reflect the unique manner in which “fish” can solve biological problems, in an evolutionary context. Genome duplication events simply mean that many fish species have more gene copies to “throw at a problem”, and evolution seems to have taken advantage of this “gene abundance”. How this relates to their poor cousins, the mammals, remains to be seen. View Full-Text
Keywords: zebrafish; circadian clock; development; DNA repair; non-visual light detection; cell cycle zebrafish; circadian clock; development; DNA repair; non-visual light detection; cell cycle

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Frøland Steindal, I.A.; Whitmore, D. Circadian Clocks in Fish—What Have We Learned so far? Biology 2019, 8, 17.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Biology EISSN 2079-7737 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top