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The synchronization of cellular clocks in Neurospora crassa

Jia Hwei Cheong
Jia Hwei Cheong
Graduate Student, Department of Chemistry
University of Georgia
Analytical Seminar

Collective behavior is seen in a variety of biological organizations, varying from the collective attack of viruses on bacterial cells to troops of baboons. This may lead to the synchronized oscillations that includes either fire flies or cells being able to synchronize their time clocks. This can be observed with humans as well, where individual cells synchronize into circadian rhythms. Previously, we were able to establish the properties that indicate the presence of a clock in Neurospora crassa. 1 In order to understand how cells synchronize, we hypothesize that N.crassa cells are able to communicate through the mechanism of quorum sensing2 .When the density of cells reach a certain threshold, the single N. crassa cells will then be able to secrete a signaling molecule to produce a coordinated response. In this study, we fabricated a microfluidic device to mimic a tissue in order to obtain a macroscopic limit for phase synchronization to occur in N. crassa. This is also tested with a quorum sensing model3 . As the previous device is insufficient to test the quorum sensing model, a microwell device was constructed and the data obtained was fitted into the model for verification.


1. Deng, Z.; Cheong, J. H.; Caranica, C.; Wu, L.; Judge, M.; Hull, B.; Rodriguez, C.; Griffith, J.; Al-Omari, A.; Schuttler, H.-B.; Mao, L.; Arnold, J., Single cells of Neurospora crassa show circadian oscillations as well light entrainment and temperature compensation. IEEE Access 2019, 7, 49403-49417.

2. Deng, Z.; Arsenault, S.; Caranica, C.; Griffith, J.; Zhu, T.; Al-Omari, A.; Schüttler, H.-B.; Arnold, J.; Mao, L., Synchronizing stochastic circadian oscillators in single cells of Neurospora crassa. Sci Rep-Uk 2016, 6, 35828.

3. Caranica, C.; Al-Omari, A.; Schuttler, H.-B.; Arnold, J., A clock stochastic network with light entrainment is identified for single cells of Neurospora crassa by ensemble methods. Plos One 2019, submitted.

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