This book covers the main aspects of biological rhythms. It focuses on the evolution and basic features of the biorhythms in organisms, deals with the circadian system at the genetic, molecular and cellular levels, and describes the mechanisms involved in the perception and light entrainment of the biological clock in vertebrates and invertebrates.
The most important features of the biological clock are summarized on the level of whole organisms, from fish to mammals, and long-term (seasonal) rhythms in plants and higher vertebrates are discussed. Finally, the book concentrates on short-term rhythms, the significance of having a biological clock system in animals living in extreme (Arctic) environments, and on the diversity of circadian responses to melatonin, one of the key endocrine elements involved in the regulation of biological rhythms.
Circadian Systems: General Perspectives.- Period Doubling of Rhythmic Water Regulation in Plants.- Circadian System: Entrainment.- Photoreceptors for the Circadian Clock of the Fruitfly.- Photoentrainment in Vertebrates.- Retinal Clock Mechanisms in Invertebrates.- Retinal and Pineal Rhythms in Lower Vertebrates.- The Genetics and Molecular Biology of Circadian Clock.- The Circadian Organization of Reptiles.- Avian Circadian Systems.- Mammalian Circadian Systems.- Biological Rhythms in Arctic Animals.- Melatonin and the Synchronization of the Circadian System.- Peripheral Clocks in Vertebrates.- Circannual System.- Photoperiodism in Plants.- Photoperiodism in Birds and Mammals.- Human Circadian Rhythms: Effects of Light and Melatonin.- Evolution of Circadian Organization.