Light reception and circadian behavior in 'blind' and 'clock-less' mutants of Neurospora crassa

EMBO J. 2002 Jul 15;21(14):3643-51. doi: 10.1093/emboj/cdf377.


The filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa is a model organism for the genetic dissection of blue light photoreception and circadian rhythms. WHITE COLLAR-1 (WC-1) and WC-2 are considered necessary for all light responses, while FREQUENCY (FRQ) is required for light-regulated asexual development (conidia formation); without any of the three, self-sustained (circadian) rhythmicity in constant conditions fails. Here we show that light-regulated and self-sustained development occur in the individual or mutant white collar strains. These strains resemble wild type in their organization of the daily bout of light-regulated conidiation. Molecular profiles of light- induced genes indicate that the individual white collar-1 and white collar-2 mutants utilize distinct pathways, despite their similar appearance in all aspects. Titration of fluence rate also demonstrates different light sensitivities between the two strains. The data require the existence of an as-yet-unidentified photoreceptor. Furthermore, the extant circadian clock machinery in these mutant strains supports the notion that the circadian system in Neurospora involves components outside the WC-FRQ loop.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Fungal Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Light*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Neurospora crassa / genetics
  • Neurospora crassa / metabolism
  • Neurospora crassa / physiology*
  • RNA, Fungal / biosynthesis


  • Fungal Proteins
  • RNA, Fungal