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Circadian Rhythms in Neurospora crassa: Clock Mutant Effects in the Absence of a frq-Based Oscillator

Copyright © 2007 by the Genetics Society of America
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  • Investigations
  • Biology


In Neurospora, the circadian rhythm is expressed as rhythmic conidiation driven by a feedback loop involving the protein products of frq (frequency), wc-1 (white collar-1), and wc-2, known as the frq/wc (FWC) oscillator. Although strains carrying null mutations such as frq10 or wc-2Δ lack a functional FWC oscillator and do not show a rhythm under most conditions, a rhythm can be observed in them by the addition of geraniol or farnesol to the media. Employing this altered media as an assay, the effect of other clock mutations in a frq10- or wc-2Δ-null background can be measured. It was found that the existing clock mutations fall into three classes: (1) those, such as prd-3 or prd-4 or frq1, that showed no effect in a clock null background; (2) those, such as prd-1 or prd-2 or prd-6, that did have a measurable effect in the frq10 background; and (3) those, such as the new mutation ult, that suppressed the frq10 or wc-2Δ effect, i.e., geraniol/farnesol was not required for a visible rhythm. This classification suggests that some of the known clock mutations are part of a broader multioscillator system.

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