Rhythms of Enzyme Activity Associated with Circadian Conidiation in Neurospora crassa


The mycelial growth front of the band strain of Neurospora grown on a solid surface exhibits a circadian rhythm of conidiation. Enzyme assays on extracts from that mycelium have shown that the activities of 6 of 13 enzymes (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide nucleosidase, isocitrate lyase, citrate synthase, glyceraldehydephosphate dehydrogenase, phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) and soluble-protein content oscillate with the visible morphological change. The rhythmic enzymes associated with the Krebs and glyoxylate cycles are more active during conidiogenesis, whereas the activities of the rhythmic enzymes of glycolysis and the hexose monophosphate shunt are reduced during that phase. The absence of enzyme oscillations in wild-type and fluffy strains which do not form conidia under the conditions employed suggests that the enzyme fluctuations are associated with conidiogenesis itself. Oscillations of enzyme activity as a function of time are restricted to the growth front. A permanent record of rhythmicity associated with conidial and nonconidial regions does, however, exist in the mycelial mat behind the growth front. The activities of three enzymes (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide nucleosidase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and phosphogluconate dehydrogenase) are not directly influenced by CO2 concentration, but are correlated with the prescence or absence of conidiation which is controlled by CO2 concentration. In contrast, citrate synthase and malate dehydrogenase activities are correlated with changes in CO2 concentration.

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