Are There Circadian Clocks in Non-Photosynthetic Bacteria?

Francesca Sartor, Zheng Eelderink-Chen, Ben Aronson, Jasper Bosman, Lauren E. Hibbert, Antony N. Dodd, Ákos T. Kovács*, Martha Merrow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Circadian
  • Rhythm
  • Clock
  • Eubacteria
  • Entrainment
  • Microbiome
  • Temporal mutualism
  • Holobiont

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