Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Molecular Complex Essential For Vision Identified In Fungi

Date:
June 4, 2009
Source:
Andalucía Innova
Summary:
Researchers have identified one of the protein components of a molecular complex that allows light reception in a laboratory fungus.

An international team of researchers has identified one of the protein components of a molecular complex that allows light reception in a laboratory fungus.

The results were published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by the team, which includes Prof. Luis M. Corrochano and Dr. Julio Rodríguez Romero, from the Department of Genetics of the University of Seville, Spain, in collaboration with colleagues from Duke University and the University of Missouri at Kansas City (USA), Glasgow University (UK), and the University of Salamanca (Spain).

The fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus is used in the laboratory to investigate how organisms perceive signals from the environment. The fruiting body of Phycomyces is sensitive to many environmental stimuli, including light, gravity, wind, and the presence of nearby objects. These signals modify the speed and direction of growth of the Phycomyces fruiting body. Like plants, Phycomyces grows upwards towards light.

The isolation and characterization of Phycomyces blind mutants unable to move towards light was initiated in the seventies of the last century in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Max Delbrück. The mutants, named mad, have been investigated in detail for several decades and have been used to investigate the molecular basis of vision in microorganisms using Phycomyces as a model. However, the molecular nature of the mad genes remained elusive until recently.

In a previous work published in 2006, the team of Spanish and American scientists identified and characterized the madA gene, and proposed that the corresponding protein could sense photons as a photoreceptor and could bind to DNA to regulate genes activity. The new research shows that the product of the gene madB is a putative DNA-binding protein that interacts with the product of the madA gene to create a protein complex. The scientists propose that this complex regulates the activities of genes after the reception of light. The scientists further propose that this fungus uses this protein complex to perceive light and to change the direction of growth of its fruiting body, to regulate development of its fruiting bodies, and to activate the synthesis of beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant compound that accumulates in the cell when exposed to light.

In addition, the team of scientists has identified several genes similar to madA and madB in the genome of Phycomyces that may explain the extraordinary sensitivity to light of this fungus, similar to that of the human eye.

The identification and characterization of madA and madB genes will help to understand in more detail the mechanisms that regulate the responses of fungi and other organisms to daily changes in lighting conditions in nature.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Andalucía Innova. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Catalina Sanz, Julio Rodríguez-Romero, Alexander Idnurm, John M. Christie, Joseph Heitman, Luis M. Corrochano, and Arturo P. Eslava. Phycomyces MADB interacts with MADA to form the primary photoreceptor complex for fungal phototropism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009; 106 (17): 7095 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0900879106

Cite This Page:

Andalucía Innova. "Molecular Complex Essential For Vision Identified In Fungi." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090602083723.htm>.
Andalucía Innova. (2009, June 4). Molecular Complex Essential For Vision Identified In Fungi. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090602083723.htm
Andalucía Innova. "Molecular Complex Essential For Vision Identified In Fungi." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090602083723.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) — A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins