Home • Neurospora perkinsii FGSC10406 Liberville (aka "CV-79") v1.0
Phylogenetic relationships between outbreeding Neurospora species
Phylogenetic relationships between outbreeding Neurospora species (from ref. 2). Image Credit: Michael Freitag

Neurospora perkinsii is a filamentous fungus, closely related to N. crassa and named in honor of long-time Neurospora geneticist and champion of model systems, David D. Perkins, who also collected the largest number of wild isolates, referred to as the Perkins Collection (1). Neurospora perkinsii has been collected from Gabon and the Congo (1), and it is an outbreeding heterothallic fungus, formerly designated “Phylogenetic Species 3” (PS3; ref. 2). As part of an increasing number of recognized sexually reproducing Neurospora species, N. perkinsii has become a premier model for fungal population studies (3). Additional complete Neurospora genomes (see Mycocosm group page), combined with existing N. crassa genomes, and genomes from more distant outgroups, have paved the way for deep comparative biology of ascomycete genomes, and N. discreta has quickly become a premier model for fungal population studies.

Filamentous fungi are important in natural environments as degraders of plant and animal biomass, as pathogens of plants and animals, and as producers of natural products that are used as pharmaceuticals. Neurospora has many of the genes important to plant pathogenesis, and it has been used as a model for the study of lignin decay by fungi. The genus Neurospora also holds a central position in the history of genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology, as one of the earliest convenient model organisms that helped to decipher the gene to protein relationships of metabolism and gene regulation. Ongoing studies on light regulation, the circadian clock, chromatin and epigenetics, gene regulation, and metabolism continue to yield insights into general eukaryotic biology. Genomes of four strains of the reference species, N. crassa, have been (nearly) completely assembled at JGI, and contain ~42 Mb encoding ~11,000 genes each.


  1. Villalta CF, Jacobson DJ, Taylor JW. Three new phylogenetic and biological Neurospora species: N. hispaniola, N. metzenbergii and N. perkinsii. Mycologia. 2009 Nov-Dec;101(6):777-89. doi: 10.3852/08-219.
  2. Dettman JR, Jacobson DJ, Turner E, Pringle A, Taylor JW. Reproductive isolation and phylogenetic divergence in Neurospora: comparing methods of species recognition in a model eukaryote. Evolution. 2003 Dec;57(12):2721-41. doi: 10.1111/j.0014-3820.2003.tb01515.x.
  3. Gladieux P, De Bellis F, Hann-Soden C, Svedberg J, Johannesson H, Taylor JW. Neurospora from Natural Populations: Population Genomics Insights into the Life History of a Model Microbial Eukaryote  Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2090:313-336. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0199-0_13.