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J. Biol. Chem. 275 (36): 27541-27550

© 2000 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

sn-1,2-Diacylglycerol Levels in the Fungus Neurospora crassa Display Circadian Rhythmicity*

Mark RamsdaleDagger and Patricia L. Lakin-Thomas§

From the Dagger  Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, United Kingdom and the § Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EA, United Kingdom

The fungus Neurospora crassa is a model organism for investigating the biochemical mechanism of circadian (daily) rhythmicity. When a choline-requiring strain (chol-1) is depleted of choline, the period of the conidiation rhythm lengthens. We have found that the levels of sn-1,2-diacylglycerol (DAG) increase in proportion to the increase in period. Other clock mutations that change the period do not affect the levels of DAG. Membrane-permeant DAGs and inhibitors of DAG kinase were found to further lengthen the period of choline-depleted cultures. The level of DAG oscillates with a period comparable to the rhythm of conidiation in wild-type strains, choline-depleted cultures, and frq mutants, including a null frq strain. The DAG rhythm is present at the growing margin and also persists in older areas that have completed development. The phase of the DAG rhythm can be set by the light-to-dark transition, but the level of DAG is not immediately affected by light. Our results indicate that rhythms in DAG levels in Neurospora are driven by a light-sensitive circadian oscillator that does not require the frq gene product. High levels of DAG may feed back on that oscillator to lengthen its period.

* This work was supported by Grants 039696/Z/93 and 045355/Z/95 from The Wellcome Trust (to P. L. L.-T.).The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. The article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

To whom correspondence should be addressed: Tel.: 44-1223-333-954; Fax: 44-1223-333-953; E-mail:

Copyright © 2000 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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