The metronomic predictability of the environment has elicited strong selection pressures for the evolution of endogenous circadian clocks. Circadian clocks drive molecular and behavioural rhythms that approximate the 24 h periodicity of our environment. Found almost ubiquitously among phyla, circadian clocks allow preadaptation to rhythms concomitant with the natural cycles of the Earth. Cycles in light intensity and temperature for example act as important cues that couple circadian clocks to the environment via a process called entrainment. This review summarizes our current understanding of the general and molecular principles of entrainment in the model organism Neurospora crassa, a simple eukaryote that has one of the best-studied circadian systems and light-signalling pathways.

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