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Blue-light control of sporangiophore initiation in Phycomyces


Many fungi produce spores or spore-bearing structures under the control of blue light. Sporangiophores of Phycomyces blakesleeanus are produced continuously along racing tube cultures grown in constant darkness or constant light. However, if a dark-grown culture is exposed to light for a short time on one day a narrow, dense band of sporangiophores is observed the next day at that point of the tube occupied by the mycelial tips during the light pulse. A periodic program with “short days” (e.g., 4 h light; 20 h dark), leads to periodic bands of sporangiophores spaced at intervals corresponding to one period-length (in this case 24 h) of mycelial growth. Sporangiophore initiation is inhibited by a light to dark transition and is stimulated by a dark to light transition. A partial action spectrum of the initiation response, covering the critical 480–540 nm region, strongly suggests that the same photoreceptor pigment is involved as in the phototropic response and light growth response of sporangiophores. Mutants with altered light control of sporangiophore initiation have been found among those selected for altered phototropism. This joint elimination of these two responses to blue light by a single mutation is evidence for a common early transduction system.

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Correspondence to K. Bergman.

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Bergman, K. Blue-light control of sporangiophore initiation in Phycomyces . Planta 107, 53–67 (1972).

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  • Blue Light
  • Mycelial Growth
  • Light Transition
  • Initiation Response
  • Light Control