How fungi keep time: circadian system in Neurospora and other fungi

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2006 Dec;9(6):579-87. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2006.10.008. Epub 2006 Oct 24.


The circadian system in Neurospora remains a premier model system for understanding circadian rhythms, and evidence has now begun to accumulate suggesting broad conservation of rhythmicity amongst the filamentous fungi. A well-described transcription-translation-based negative feedback loop involving the FREQUENCY, WHITE COLLAR-1 and WHITE COLLAR-2 proteins is integral to the Neurospora system. Recent advances include descriptions of the surprisingly complex frequency transcription unit, an enhanced appreciation of the roles of kinases and their regulation in the generation of the circadian rhythm and their links to the cell cycle, and strong evidence for an additional WHITE COLLAR-associated feedback loop. Documentation of sequence homologs of integral circadian and photoresponsive proteins amongst the 42 available sequenced fungal genomes suggests unexpected roles for circadian timing among both pathogens and saprophytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Clocks / physiology
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Neurospora / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • FRQ protein, Neurospora crassa
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • wc-1 protein, Neurospora crassa
  • white collar 2 protein, Neurospora