Don’t judge a book by its cover

Just like animals and humans, worms exhibit individual – but reproducible – behaviors, ranging from inactive to explorative tendencies. Interestingly, individuals of the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii exhibit behavioral arrhythmicity despite showing robust daily rhythms in gene expression. In their new study recently published in PLoS Biology, Perutz PI Kristin Tessmar-Raible together with first author Sören Häfker and their collaborators contend that rhythmic worms can be distinguished from their arrhythmic siblings by the types of cycling transcripts. The work implies that rhythmic behavior is not necessarily the product of circadian clock gene oscillations, as has widely been assumed.

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