Characterization of a circadian rhythm mutant identified in a genetic screen in Neurospora crassa
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Most organisms display daily rhythms in biochemical, physiological, and behavioral events. Examples of these rhythms include photosynthesis in plants and sleep/wake cycles in birds and mammals. These daily rhythms are controlled by an internal timekeeper called the circadian clock. In the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, asexual spore formation, known as conidiation, is under control of the circadian clock. Neurospora is a premier organism for the study of the circadian clock because the fungus is easy to manipulate, both genetically and biochemically, and the conidiation rhythm is easily monitored using specialized growth tubes called race tubes. One property of the circadian clock is that it can be reset by an environmental stimulus, such as a light or temperature pulse. This resetting is easily viewed on a race tube as a change in the phase of the conidiation rhythm. To identify genes involved in clock resetting, a genetic approach has been undertaken. In this approach we use ultraviolet (UV) light to mutate Neurospora conidia. Following germination, the mutagenized cells are tested on race tubes for a loss of rhythmicity or failure to reset their clock in response to a light pulse. To date, 1300 mutagenized cells have been tested and twenty mutant strains with an altered developmental rhythm have been identified. I am currently characterizing one of the mutant strains, which is arrhythmic. The goal of this project is to genetically map the mutation that causes arrythmicity and clone the respective gene.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 27-28).
Keasler, Victor Vasco (2002). Characterization of a circadian rhythm mutant identified in a genetic screen in Neurospora crassa. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from