Neurospora discreta as a model to assess adaptation of soil fungi to warming
Neurospora has been a successful eukaryotic model organism for addressing a wide range of biological questions under laboratory conditions. This success was a result of early domestication of the organism for rigorous experimentation. As a result of concerted efforts by many excellent researchers for over a century, there has been enormous amount of genetic resources collected and generated for this organism. These genetic resources and available molecular tools provide an exciting opportunity for empirical testing of evolutionary and ecological questions in the natural environment. In this article, we examine the potential of Neurospora for ecological studies. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of The British Mycological Society. 1. A success story Newsletter (1962e1986) was a very successful way of commuIn addition to its attractive color, there is another feature that hasmadeNeurospora appealing to researchers:Neurosporawas easily tamable. As with other organisms successfully used for genetic studies, significant efforts had been made in domesticating Neurospora strains at an early stage of its use as an experimental system. This involved culturing Neurospora strains on artificial media and generating inbred lines with high fertility. Producing genetically pure and fertile laboratory strains and standardizing culture conditions are crucial steps for an organism to be a model organism. These features allowed researchers to generate experimental data that could be easily reproduced by other researchers. Since Francis Ryan published his methods for Neurospora genetics in 1950 (Ryan, 1950),Neurospora researchers shared their laboratory protocols either informally or in the form of publication. The Neurospora 6; fax: þ1 856 225 6312. .edu (K. Lee). Elsevier Ltd on behalf of nicating the optimized experimental procedures among Neurospora researchers. The Neurospora Newsletter became Fungal Genetics Newsletter (1986e2007), and then Fungal Genetics Reports (2008ecurrent) with increasingly broader audiences. This community spirit is still alive and has led to awebsite (www.fgsc.net/Neurospora/NeurosporaProtocolGuide. htm), which provides a compilation of constantly updated laboratory protocols for Neurospora researchers.