Blue light adaptation and desensitization of light signal transduction in Neurospora crassa

Mol Microbiol. 2001 Feb;39(4):1080-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2001.02306.x.


The ascomycete Neurospora crassa has the capacity of adapting to a given light quantity, leading to transient blue light responses under continuous light conditions. Here, we present an investigation of this photoadaptation phenomenon. We demonstrated previously that two proteins of the Neurospora blue light signal transduction chain, WC1 and WC2, are subject to light-dependent phosphorylation. WC1 was phosphorylated in parallel with the transient increase in transcript levels of light-regulated genes. Using the light-dependent phosphorylation of WC1 as a marker for an active signalling state of WC1, we show that the transiency of Neurospora blue light responses results from desensitization of the photoreceptor and/or the signalling cascade. Furthermore, a Neurospora mutant was characterized that revealed a specific defect in photoadaptation. In this mutant, the transient expression of light-regulated genes under continuous light, the temporary insensitivity after a light pulse and the capability of differentiating between and adapting to low and high light intensities were abolished. The corresponding protein seems to represent a central component of a negative feedback desensitization mechanism. This negative feedback regulation requires continuous and light-dependent protein de novo biosynthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Light
  • Light Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Neurospora crassa / genetics
  • Neurospora crassa / metabolism
  • Neurospora crassa / physiology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • wc-1 protein, Neurospora crassa