The Neurospora crassa pheromone precursor genes are regulated by the mating type locus and the circadian clock. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pheromones play important roles in female and male behaviour in the filamentous ascomycete fungi. To begin to explore the role of pheromones in mating, we have identified the genes encoding the sex pheromones of the heterothallic species Neurospora crassa. One gene, expressed exclusively in mat A strains, encodes a polypeptide containing multiple repeats of a putative pheromone sequence bordered by Kex2 processing sites. Strains of the opposite mating type, mat a, express a pheromone precursor gene whose polypeptide contains a C-terminal CAAX motif predicted to produce a mature pheromone with a C-terminal carboxy-methyl isoprenylated cysteine. The predicted sequences of the pheromones are remarkably similar to those encoded by other filamentous ascomycetes. The expression of the pheromone precursor genes is mating type specific and is under the control of the mating type locus. Furthermore, the genes are highly expressed in conidia and under conditions that favour sexual development. Both pheromone precursor genes are also regulated by the endogenous circadian clock in a time-of-day-specific fashion, supporting a role for the clock in mating.

published proceedings

  • Mol Microbiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Bobrowicz, P., Pawlak, R., Correa, A., Bell-Pedersen, D., & Ebbole, D. J.

citation count

  • 117

complete list of authors

  • Bobrowicz, Piotr||Pawlak, Rebecca||Correa, Alejandro||Bell-Pedersen, Deborah||Ebbole, Daniel J

publication date

  • August 2002