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Deborah Bell-Pedersen

Deborah Bell-Pedersen


Department of Biology

Room 210A Biological Sciences Building West
3258 TAMU

College Station , TX 77843-3258
Office Phone: (979) 847-9237


Research Interests

The goal of research in my laboratory is to exploit the relative simplicity of the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa to understand a fascinating and complex biological phenomenon common to all eukaryotes and important for human health - the mechanisms by which organisms keep time. Endogenous biological clocks provide the machinery by which organisms keep in synchrony with the external world. The ability of the clock to measure accurate time allows changes in the environment (such as light and temperature) to be anticipated so that biological activities can occur at the appropriate times of day. Demonstrations of daily (circadian) rhythms are widespread and are established through the control of specific target genes by the clock. However, very little is known about how this regulation takes place, or of the components that transduce time information in cells. Neurospora provides a unique experimental organism for addressing these problems due to it's well defined genetics and biochemistry, the ability to perform sophisticated molecular studies, and because it displays one of the most easily assayed circadian rhythms - a rhythm in asexual spore development.

Using genetic, molecular and genomic approaches, including a novel genetic selection for clock-associated mutations, we have identified new components of the circadian system that control diverse output pathways. Our studies support the hypothesis that multiple oscillators in the cell function to regulate rhythmicity, and our current focus is aimed at identifying components of the oscillators and to determine how they communicate with each other.

Selected References

  1. de Paula RM, Lamb TM, Bennett L & Bell-Pedersen D (2008) A connection between MAPK pathways and circadian clocks. Cell Cycle 7: 2630-4
  2. de Paula RM, Vitalini MW, Gomer RH & Bell-Pedersen D (2007) Complexity of the Neurospora crassa circadian clock system: multiple loops and oscillators. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol 72: 345-51
  3. Vitalini MW, de Paula RM, Goldsmith CS, Jones CA, Borkovich KA & Bell-Pedersen D (2007) Circadian rhythmicity mediated by temporal regulation of the activity of p38 MAPK. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104: 18223-8
  4. Vitalini MW, de Paula RM, Park WD & Bell-Pedersen D (2006) The rhythms of life: circadian output pathways in Neurospora. J Biol Rhythms 21: 432-44
  5. Liu Y & Bell-Pedersen D (2006) Circadian rhythms in Neurospora crassa and other filamentous fungi. Eukaryot Cell 5: 1184-93
  6. de Paula RM, Lewis ZA, Greene AV, Seo KS, Morgan LW, Vitalini MW, Bennett L, Gomer RH & Bell-Pedersen D (2006) Two circadian timing circuits in Neurospora crassa cells share components and regulate distinct rhythmic processes. J Biol Rhythms 21: 159-68
  7. Galagan JE, Calvo SE, Cuomo C, Ma LJ, Wortman JR, Batzoglou S, Lee SI, BaЕџtГјrkmen M, Spevak CC, Clutterbuck J, Kapitonov V, Jurka J, Scazzocchio C, Farman M, Butler J, Purcell S, Harris S, Braus GH, Draht O, Busch S, D'Enfert C, Bouchier C, Goldman GH, Bell-Pedersen D, Griffiths-Jones S, Doonan JH, Yu J, Vienken K, Pain A, Freitag M, Selker EU, Archer DB, PeГ±alva MA, Oakley BR, Momany M, Tanaka T, Kumagai T, Asai K, Machida M, Nierman WC, Denning DW, Caddick M, Hynes M, Paoletti M, Fischer R, Miller B, Dyer P, Sachs MS, Osmani SA & Birren BW (2005) Sequencing of Aspergillus nidulans and comparative analysis with A. fumigatus and A. oryzae. Nature 438: 1105-15
  8. Bell-Pedersen D, Cassone VM, Earnest DJ, Golden SS, Hardin PE, Thomas TL & Zoran MJ (2005) Circadian rhythms from multiple oscillators: lessons from diverse organisms. Nat Rev Genet 6: 544-56
  9. Pregueiro AM, Price-Lloyd N, Bell-Pedersen D, Heintzen C, Loros JJ & Dunlap JC (2005) Assignment of an essential role for the Neurospora frequency gene in circadian entrainment to temperature cycles. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 102: 2210-5
  10. Xie X, Wilkinson HH, Correa A, Lewis ZA, Bell-Pedersen D & Ebbole DJ (2004) Transcriptional response to glucose starvation and functional analysis of a glucose transporter of Neurospora crassa. Fungal Genet Biol 41: 1104-19
  11. Allen GC, Farnell Y, Bell-Pedersen D, Cassone VM & Earnest DJ (2004) Effects of altered Clock gene expression on the pacemaker properties of SCN2.2 cells and oscillatory properties of NIH/3T3 cells. Neuroscience 127: 989-99
  12. Vitalini MW, Morgan LW, March IJ & Bell-Pedersen D (2004) A genetic selection for circadian output pathway mutations in Neurospora crassa. Genetics 167: 119-29
  13. Borkovich KA, Alex LA, Yarden O, Freitag M, Turner GE, Read ND, Seiler S, Bell-Pedersen D, Paietta J, Plesofsky N, Plamann M, Goodrich-Tanrikulu M, Schulte U, Mannhaupt G, Nargang FE, Radford A, Selitrennikoff C, Galagan JE, Dunlap JC, Loros JJ, Catcheside D, Inoue H, Aramayo R, Polymenis M, Selker EU, Sachs MS, Marzluf GA, Paulsen I, Davis R, Ebbole DJ, Zelter A, Kalkman ER, O'Rourke R, Bowring F, Yeadon J, Ishii C, Suzuki K, Sakai W & Pratt R (2004) Lessons from the genome sequence of Neurospora crassa: tracing the path from genomic blueprint to multicellular organism. Microbiol Mol Biol Rev 68: 1-108
  14. Correa A, Lewis ZA, Greene AV, March IJ, Gomer RH & Bell-Pedersen D (2003) Multiple oscillators regulate circadian gene expression in Neurospora. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 100: 13597-602
  15. Bailey MJ, Beremand PD, Hammer R, Bell-Pedersen D, Thomas TL & Cassone VM (2003) Transcriptional profiling of the chick pineal gland, a photoreceptive circadian oscillator and pacemaker. Mol Endocrinol 17: 2084-95
  16. Galagan JE, Calvo SE, Borkovich KA, Selker EU, Read ND, Jaffe D, FitzHugh W, Ma LJ, Smirnov S, Purcell S, Rehman B, Elkins T, Engels R, Wang S, Nielsen CB, Butler J, Endrizzi M, Qui D, Ianakiev P, Bell-Pedersen D, Nelson MA, Werner-Washburne M, Selitrennikoff CP, Kinsey JA, Braun EL, Zelter A, Schulte U, Kothe GO, Jedd G, Mewes W, Staben C, Marcotte E, Greenberg D, Roy A, Foley K, Naylor J, Stange-Thomann N, Barrett R, Gnerre S, Kamal M, Kamvysselis M, Mauceli E, Bielke C, Rudd S, Frishman D, Krystofova S, Rasmussen C, Metzenberg RL, Perkins DD, Kroken S, Cogoni C, Macino G, Catcheside D, Li W, Pratt RJ, Osmani SA, DeSouza CP, Glass L, Orbach MJ, Berglund JA, Voelker R, Yarden O, Plamann M, Seiler S, Dunlap J, Radford A, Aramayo R, Natvig DO, Alex LA, Mannhaupt G, Ebbole DJ, Freitag M, Paulsen I, Sachs MS, Lander ES, Nusbaum C & Birren B (2003) The genome sequence of the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. Nature 422: 859-68
  17. Greene AV, Keller N, Haas H & Bell-Pedersen D (2003) A circadian oscillator in Aspergillus spp. regulates daily development and gene expression. Eukaryot Cell 2: 231-7
  18. Morgan LW, Greene AV & Bell-Pedersen D (2003) Circadian and light-induced expression of luciferase in Neurospora crassa. Fungal Genet Biol 38: 327-32
  19. Shinohara ML, Correa A, Bell-Pedersen D, Dunlap JC & Loros JJ (2002) Neurospora clock-controlled gene 9 (ccg-9) encodes trehalose synthase: circadian regulation of stress responses and development. Eukaryot Cell 1: 33-43
  20. Correa A & Bell-Pedersen D (2002) Distinct signaling pathways from the circadian clock participate in regulation of rhythmic conidiospore development in Neurospora crassa. Eukaryot Cell 1: 273-80

Current Genetics Students:

Stephen Caster

Jennifer Jung


Charles Goldsmith


Research Interests:

Microbial Genetics:

Molecular Genetics of Circadian Rhythms

Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Genetics:

Molecular Genetics of Circadian Rhythms