The Neurospora circadian clock: simple or complex? Academic Article uri icon


  • The fungus Neurospora crassa is being used by a number of research groups as a model organism to investigate circadian (daily) rhythmicity. In this review we concentrate on recent work relating to the complexity of the circadian system in this organism. We discuss: the advantages of Neurospora as a model system for clock studies; the frequency (frq), white collar-1 and white collar-2 genes and their roles in rhythmicity; the phenomenon of rhythmicity in null frq mutants and its implications for clock mechanisms; the study of output pathways using clock-controlled genes; other rhythms in fungi; mathematical modelling of the Neurospora circadian system; and the application of new technologies to the study of Neurospora rhythmicity. We conclude that there may be many gene products involved in the clock mechanism, there may be multiple interacting oscillators comprising the clock mechanism, there may be feedback from output pathways onto the oscillator(s) and from the oscillator(s) onto input pathways, and there may be several independent clocks coexisting in one organism. Thus even a relatively simple lower eukaryote can be used to address questions about a complex, networked circadian system.

published proceedings

  • Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci

altmetric score

  • 5.488

author list (cited authors)

  • Bell-Pedersen, D., Crosthwaite, S. K., Lakin-Thomas, P. L., Merrow, M., & kland, M.

citation count

  • 36

complete list of authors

  • Bell-Pedersen, D||Crosthwaite, SK||Lakin-Thomas, PL||Merrow, M||├śkland, M

publication date

  • November 2001