Most eukaryotic organisms display cellular and behavioral rhythms with a period of approximately 24 hours. These rhythms are collectively called the biological or circadian 'clock', and this clock influences many of an organism's activities, such as the sleep/wake cycle in humans. Through genetic, biochemical, molecular, and genomic studies, the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa has served as an excellent model system for unraveling many biological mysteries. Due to the commonality of the core mechanisms of the circadian clock in eukaryotes, understanding the clock in Neurospora should improve our understanding of its functioning and biological consequences in a wide range of organisms. The goal of this project is the molecular characterization of two major quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that contribute to circadian rhythms. The project should provide insights into the biology of both the circadian clock and quantitative trait loci.
This research will be integrated into a new laboratory module for the investigator's 'Circadian Rhythms' course. The laboratory module will provide undergraduate students - science majors and non-majors alike - with an opportunity for hands-on experience in the experimental characterization of the fungal circadian clock, along with insights into the nature and study of quantitative traits. This will be an invaluable learning experience for these students, and will help them develop into the intellectually informed, scientifically sophisticated citizens that the nation needs.
|Effective start/end date
|5/1/09 → 9/30/13
- National Science Foundation: $625,000.00