Insect and mammalian circadian clocks show striking similarities. They utilize homologous clock genes, generating self-sustained circadian oscillations in distinct master clocks of the brain, which then control rhythmic behaviour. The molecular mechanisms of rhythm generation were first uncovered in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, whereas cockroaches were among the first animals where the brain master clock was localized. Despite many similarities, there exist obvious differences in the organization and functioning of insect master clocks. These similarities and differences are reviewed on a molecular and anatomical level.
© 2005 The Biochemical Society