Table of Contents
New Journal of Science
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 479015, 7 pages
Review Article

Programmed Cell Death in Neurospora crassa

1Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular (IBMC), Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre 823, 4150-180 Porto, Portugal
2Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Universidade do Porto, Rua de Jorge Viterbo Ferreira 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal

Received 21 November 2013; Revised 29 January 2014; Accepted 30 January 2014; Published 2 March 2014

Academic Editor: Paula Ludovico

Copyright © 2014 A. Pedro Gonçalves and Arnaldo Videira. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Programmed cell death has been studied for decades in mammalian cells, but simpler organisms, including prokaryotes, plants, and fungi, also undergo regulated forms of cell death. We highlight the usefulness of the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa as a model organism for the study of programmed cell death. In N. crassa, cell death can be triggered genetically due to hyphal fusion between individuals with different allelic specificities at het loci, in a process called “heterokaryon incompatibility.” Chemical induction of cell death can also be achieved upon exposure to death-inducing agents like staurosporine, phytosphingosine, or hydrogen peroxide. A summary of the recent advances made by our and other groups on the discovery of the mechanisms and mediators underlying the process of cell death in N. crassa is presented.