ReportsLife Sciences

Neurospora circadian rhythms in space: a reexamination of the endogenous-exogenous question

Science  13 Jul 1984:
Vol. 225, Issue 4658, pp. 232-234
DOI: 10.1126/science.11540800


To test the functioning of circadian rhythms removed from periodicities of the earth's 24-hour rotation, the conidiation rhythm of the fungus Neurospora crassa was monitored in constant darkness during spaceflight. The free-running period of the rhythm was the same in space as on the earth, but there was a marked reduction in the clarity of the rhythm, and apparent arrhythmicity in some tubes. At the current stage of analysis of our results there is insufficient evidence to determine whether the effect seen in space was related to removal from 24-hour periodicities and whether the circadian timekeeping mechanism, or merely its expression, was affected.