Skip to main content
Select Source:

Neurospora

Neurospora

The bread mold Neurospora crassa is a simple fungal eukaryote which has been used extensively as a model organism to elucidate many of the principles of genetics of higher organisms. It is relatively easy to cultivate in the laboratory. Neurospora are eukaryotic organisms; that is, they organize their genes onto chromosomes . They may exist as either diploid cells (two copies of gene and chromosome) or haploid (one copy of each gene and chromosome). Neurospora has both a sexual and an asexual reproductive cycle which allows exploration of genetic processes more complex than those found in bacteria .

The asexual cycle consists of a filamentous growth of haploid mycelia. This stage is the vegetative stage. While the nuclei in this stage are indeed haploid, the tubular filaments contain multiple nuclei often without the distinction of individual cells. Under conditions of sparse food resources, the filaments (called hyphae ) become segmented producing bright orange colored macroconidia, asexual spores that can become detached and are more readily dispersed throughout the environment. Asexual spores can develop again into multicellular hyphae, completing the cycle. Asexual spores can also function as male gametes in the sexual reproductive cycle.

The sexual part of the life cycle begins with the mature fruiting body called the perithecium. These are sacs of sexual spores (ascospores) resulting from meiotic division. The sexual spores are discharged from the perithecium and can germinate into haploid cultures or fuse with conidia of complementary mating types. There are two genetically distinct mating types A and a. Neurospora cannot self fertilize, rather haploid sexual spores of opposite mating types must be joined at fertilization. Nuclear fusion of the male and female gametes occurs setting the stage for meiotic division to form ascospores. The diploid stage is brief as nuclear fusion quickly gives way to two meiotic divisions that produce eight ascospores. Ascospores are normally black and shaped like a football. The physical position of the ascospores is linear and corresponds to the physical position of the individual chromosomes during meiosis. In the absence of crossing over, the four a-mating type ascospores are next to each other followed by the four A-mating type ascospores.

The existence of a large collection of distinct mutant strains of Neurospora and the linear array of the products of meiosis makes Neurospora an ideal organism for studying mutation, chromosomal rearrangements, and recombination . As a relatively simple eukaryote, Neurospora has permitted study of the interactions of nuclear genes with mitochondrial genes. Neurospora also exhibits a normal circadian rhythm in response to light in the environment, and much of the fundamental genetics and biology of circadian clock cycles (chronobiology) have been elucidated through the careful study of mutant cells which exhibit altered circadian cycles.

See also Microbial genetics

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Neurospora." World of Microbiology and Immunology. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Neurospora." World of Microbiology and Immunology. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/neurospora

"Neurospora." World of Microbiology and Immunology. . Retrieved July 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/neurospora

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Neurospora

Neurospora (order Sordariales) A genus of fungi, species of which are commonly used in genetic and biochemical studies on fungi. They form perithecia and longitudinally ribbed ascospores. They are saprotrophic, and found chiefly on rotting vegetation or on burnt ground. N. sitophila (red bread mould) can cause spoilage of bread in bakeries.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Neurospora." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Jul. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Neurospora." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/neurospora

"Neurospora." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved July 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/neurospora

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.