A technical requirement of an organism that could be cultured in a defined medium led to the adoption of Neurospora crassa as an experimental organism with which to address the question of what controls metabolic reactions. The resolution of this question by using induced mutants attracted the imagination of several workers on genetical approach to biological problems. N. crassa played a role in connecting genetics and biochemistry, heralding biochemical genetics. More than a half-century since its introduction in research, Neurospora continues to be used in studies on hyphal mode of growth (Chapter 1), nuclear interactions in heterokaryons (Chapter 4), mutational and epi-genetical gene silencing mechanisms (Chapter 9), biological clocks (Chapter 11), speciation (Chapter 13), nuclear and plasmid-based senescence phenomenon (Chapter 14) and in many others, such as the meiotic drive elements that distort genetic ratios (Raju, 1996; Perkins, 2003). The biological knowledge of Neurospora from the molecular to population level has made Neurospora shift from model to an ideal reference organism—the fungus in which fundamentals are established and to which other fungi are compared (Davis and Perkins, 2002).
Was this article helpful?