Scientia Marina, Vol 70, No 4 (2006)

Preliminary evidences of circadian fan activity rhythm in Sabella spallanzanii (Gmelin, 1791) (Polychaeta: Sabellidae)

Jacopo Aguzzi
Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC). Barcelona , Spain

Juan José Chiesa
Departament de Fisiologia, Facultat de Farmacia, Universitat de Barcelona , Spain

Riccardo Caprioli
Laboratory of Experimental Ecology and Aquaculture, Dept. Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome , Italy

Davide Cascione
Laboratory of Experimental Ecology and Aquaculture, Dept. Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome , Italy

Giuseppe Magnifico
Laboratory of Experimental Ecology and Aquaculture, Dept. Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome , Italy

Valentina Rimatori
Laboratory of Experimental Ecology and Aquaculture, Dept. Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome , Italy

Corrado Costa
Laboratory of Experimental Ecology and Aquaculture, Dept. Biology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome , Italy


The fan activity rhythm of Sabella spallanzanii (Gmelin, 1791) and its entrainment capability to light were studied. Animals were tested under constant darkness (DD) followed by two consecutive 24 h light-darkness regimes: a first 11 h light period (LD) and a second 9 h light period, with its phase inverted (DL). An infrared analogical video-camera took shots each 30 s. A number of pictures with open fan were counted every 15 min. In DD a weak free-running periodicity in the circadian range was found, thus reinforcing the matching of the 24 h period under study in both photoperiod regimes. A nocturnal activity was characterised with a consistent anticipation to lightOFF (i.e. entrainment). Moreover, this phase of entrainment differed between DL and LD. The presence of endogenous activity rhythm with a variable phase angle of entrainment is a distinctive feature of circadian pacemakers.


Sabella spallanzanii; fan activity; circadian rhythms; entrainment

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