Genetic interactions between clock mutations in Neurospora crassa: can they help us to understand complexity?


Recent work on circadian clocks in Neurospora has primarily focused on the frequency (frq) and white-collar (wc) loci. However, a number of other genes are known that affect either the period or temperature compensation of the rhythm. These include the period (no relationship to the period gene of Drosophila) genes and a number of genes that affect cellular metabolism. How these other loci fit into the circadian system is not known, and metabolic effects on the clock are typically not considered in single-oscillator models. Recent evidence has pointed to multiple oscillators in Neurospora, at least one of which is predicted to incorporate metabolic processes. Here, the Neurospora clock-affecting mutations will be reviewed and their genetic interactions discussed in the context of a more complex clock model involving two coupled oscillators: a FRQ/WC-based oscillator and a 'frq-less' oscillator that may involve metabolic components.

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