Michael K. Watters
Arts and Sciences
Department of Biology
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.
Nietzel, Maya and Steverson, Leanna, "Morphological Effects of Simulated Low-Gravity in Neurospora crassa" (2022). Summer Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. 131.