Faculty Sponsor

Michael K. Watters


Arts and Sciences


Department of Biology

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-29-2022


The control of branching in Neurospora crassa has been studied under numerous environmental conditions. Here we present the observations of N. crassa morphology in simulated low-gravity. A wildtype strain was grown on solid and liquid minimal media. Control samples were left on a lab bench to grow while experimental samples were placed into a clinostat. After two days the samples were observed under microscopes at different magnifications, then the edges of growth were photographed. The images were used to compare growth patterns, density, branch intervals, and branch frequency. In both types of media, the clinostat samples appeared to grow in a curve compared to the control samples. While overall the edge of growth was equally dense between the groups, the clinostat samples had more frequent variations in density due to bends in the growth pattern. These bends could be seen in individual branches when liquid media slides were observed under a higher magnification. The branch intervals had similar averages and a student’s t-test showed no significant differences. Comparison of the branches revealed no difference in lateral branching but a significant difference in apical branching. T-tests of the number of main hyphae also showed significant difference under both magnifications. Considering the change in growth pattern and the significant data, it was concluded that simulated low-gravity does affect the morphology of N. crassa.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Maya Nietzel is a senior Biochemistry student at Valparaiso University. She became interested in her current research after learning about how environmental factors affect plant and fungal morphologies. In the future she plans to pursue a graduate degree in Biochemistry.

Leanna Steverson is a recent graduate of IvyTech Community College. She has always had a fascination with fungi so was excited to be a part of a research project that would further expand her knowledge. In the future she plans to pursue a degree in Biology.