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Circadian rhythm in the pink-orange bread mould Neurospora crassa : for what?

Maheshwari, Ramesh (2007) Circadian rhythm in the pink-orange bread mould Neurospora crassa : for what? In: Journal of Biosciences, 32 (6). pp. 1053-1058.

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To paraphrase Theodosius Dobzhansky: Nothing in biology makes sense unless it is in the light of reproduction (Dobzhansky 1973). Does the once in ~24 hours (circadian) production of macroconidia in Neurospora crassa growing on an agar medium in a race tube (fi gure 1) or in a Petri dish as studied in the mutants invertase (Sargeant et al 1966) or band (Ramsdale 2001; Tan et al 2004; Price-Lloyd et al 2005) contribute to its reproductive success in nature? The characteristic pigmented macroconidia were fi rst recognized in 1843 on mouldy bread in bakeries of Paris (Perkins 1992). Hence this fungus is popularly known as the pink or red bread-mould (Perkins 2005). It has been adopted as a model for investigating molecular mechanisms in circadian rhythms (Merrow et al 1999; Dunlap and Loros 2005). However, based on its growth and development on burnt sugarcane stubble (fi gure 2; Pandit and Maheshwari 1996) – a common substrate where this crop is grown – and reconstruction experiments using sugarcane segments and an albino mutant of the fungus, it has been deduced that the pigmented, asexually formed, airborne, multinucleate macroconidia (5–9 μm) do not ordinarily propagate Neurospora in nature, as has been assumed. Nor do macroconidia, though they are used as donors of male nuclei in genetic crosses in laboratories, serve as fertilizing elements in nature because the female sexual bodies (protoperithecia) are submerged inside the plant tissue. Why does Neurospora employ a circadian mechanism for the formation of macro-conidia that do not directly function in dissemination and survival?

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Biosciences
Publisher: Indian Academy of Sciences
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences.
Keywords: Neurospora;circadian rhythm;microfauna;co-evolution;sexual reproduction;conidi.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Biochemistry
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2009 09:53
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:00
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/18108

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