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Are There Circadian Clocks in Non-Photosynthetic Bacteria?

Institute of Medical Psychology, Medical Faculty, LMU Munich, 80336 Munich, Germany
Department of Biology, University of Redlands, Redlands, CA 92373, USA
Bioinformatics, Hanzehogeschool Groningen, 9747 AS Groningen, The Netherlands
School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK
Bacterial Interactions and Evolution Group, Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biology 2019, 8(2), 41;
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 May 2019 / Published: 22 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Clocks)
PDF [2431 KB, uploaded 22 May 2019]


Circadian clocks in plants, animals, fungi, and in photosynthetic bacteria have been well-described. Observations of circadian rhythms in non-photosynthetic Eubacteria have been sporadic, and the molecular basis for these potential rhythms remains unclear. Here, we present the published experimental and bioinformatical evidence for circadian rhythms in these non-photosynthetic Eubacteria. From this, we suggest that the timekeeping functions of these organisms will be best observed and studied in their appropriate complex environments. Given the rich temporal changes that exist in these environments, it is proposed that microorganisms both adapt to and contribute to these daily dynamics through the process of temporal mutualism. Understanding the timekeeping and temporal interactions within these systems will enable a deeper understanding of circadian clocks and temporal programs and provide valuable insights for medicine and agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: circadian; rhythm; clock; Eubacteria; entrainment; microbiome; temporal mutualism; holobiont circadian; rhythm; clock; Eubacteria; entrainment; microbiome; temporal mutualism; holobiont

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Sartor, F.; Eelderink-Chen, Z.; Aronson, B.; Bosman, J.; Hibbert, L.E.; Dodd, A.N.; Kovács, Á.T.; Merrow, M. Are There Circadian Clocks in Non-Photosynthetic Bacteria? Biology 2019, 8, 41.

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