Ultradian Rhythms

Much of the honey bee's behaviour is based on cycles with a phase several orders of magnitude shorter than the circadian clock based on the cyclic expression of Amper. Vibration of the abdomen during the waggle dance, for example, seems more likely to be controlled by a neurological oscillator than a molecular genetic one. And, yet, some molecular genetic oscillators have cycles of less than a minute, including defecation behaviour in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (Iwasaki and Thomas, 1997; Take-uchi et al., 2005). Further, some per mutants alter the frequency of the courtship song of D. melanogaster males (Konopka et al., 1996), suggesting thatper-like genes may play a general role in setting some biological rhythms, even those of very short periodicity. If so, clock genes would be good candidates for the control of the dance language.

6 Field and selection techniques

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