Circadian Rhythms in Neurospora: Spatial Differences in Pyridine Nucleotide Levels

Science  04 May 1973:
Vol. 180, Issue 4085, pp. 498-500
DOI: 10.1126/science.180.4085.498


A growing colony of a mutant strain of Neurospora crassa had two morphologically distinct areas which were formed as a result of a rhythmic spore-forming (conidiation) process. The total pyridine nucleotide content of these two areas was the same, but the levels of NADH, NADPH, and NADP were lower in the conidiating area, while the NAD level was higher. These biochemical differences in the adjacent areas of a single colony were only found in newly formed areas, and were not a permanent record. It is not known whether these pyridine nucleotide changes are a result of the conidiation process, or whether they are tied more directly to some underlying metabolic oscillation. However, it is speculated that the changes in the levels of these key coenzymes could have far-reaching effects on many areas of metabolism.