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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Scientific Reports

Volume 7, January 2017, Article number 40304.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1038/srep40304. Copyright © Nature Publishing Group


Sleep is a highly conserved and essential behaviour in many species, including the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In the wild, sensory signalling encoding environmental information must be integrated with sleep drive to ensure that sleep is not initiated during detrimental conditions. However, the molecular and circuit mechanisms by which sleep timing is modulated by the environment are unclear. Here we introduce a novel behavioural paradigm to study this issue. We show that in male fruit flies, onset of the daytime siesta is delayed by ambient temperatures above 29 °C. We term this effect Prolonged Morning Wakefulness (PMW). We show that signalling through the TrpA1 thermo-sensor is required for PMW, and that TrpA1 specifically impacts siesta onset, but not night sleep onset, in response to elevated temperatures. We identify two critical TrpA1-expressing circuits and show that both contact DN1p clock neurons, the output of which is also required for PMW. Finally, we identify the circadian blue-light photoreceptor CRYPTOCHROME as a molecular regulator of PMW, and propose a model in which the Drosophila nervous system integrates information encoding temperature, light, and time to dynamically control when sleep is initiated. Our results provide a platform to investigate how environmental inputs co-ordinately regulate sleep plasticity.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.