A sensitivity of the circadian clock to light/dark cycles ensures that biological rhythms maintain optimal phase relationships with the external day. In animals the circadian clock neuron network (CCNN) driving sleep/activity rhythms receives light input from multiple photoreceptors, but how these photoreceptors modulate CCNN components is not well understood. Here we show that the Hofbauer-Buchner eyelets differentially modulate two classes of ventral lateral neurons (LNvs) within the Drosophila CCNN. The eyelets antagonize Cryptochrome (CRY)- and compound-eye-based photoreception in the large LNvs, while synergizing CRY-mediated photoreception in the small LNvs. Furthermore, we show that the large LNvs interact with subsets of “evening cells” to adjust the timing of the evening peak of activity in a day-length dependent manner. Our work identifies a peptidergic connection between the large LNvs and a group of evening cells that is critical for the seasonal adjustment of circadian rhythms.
- Pigment dispersing factor