The isolation of a new class of mutants permitting facultative anaerobiosis in Neurospora crassa is described. Backcross analyses to the obligate aerobe prototroph (An-) indicate single nuclear gene inheritance (An-/An+). An+ and An- are indistinguishable in morphology and growth rates under aerobic conditions. Anaerobic growth requires nutritional supplements that are dispensable for aerobic growth. Conidiogenesis, conidial germination, and vegetative growth rate are suppressed by anaerobiosis. An+ mutants produce substantial quantities of ethanol under anaerobic conditions. Anaerobiosis and chloramphenicol both affect mitochondrial enzyme activity and morphology. Chloramphenicol inhibition leads to reduction in cytochrome oxidase and swollen mitochondria with few cristae. Anaerobiosis leads to reduction in both cytochrome oxidase and malate dehydrogenase activities, enlarged mitochondria with fewer cristae, enlarged nuclei, and other alterations in cellular morphology. The fine structure of anaerobically grown cells changes with the time of anaerobic growth. We conclude that either inhibition of mitochondrial membrane synthesis or inhibition of respiration might lead to the observed alterations in mitochondria.

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