Olfactory responses of Phycomyces blakesleeanus

Robert J. Cohen, Michael G. Fried, M. M. Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Upon exposure to low levels of various volatile compounds such as n-heptanol, methanol, CHCl3, mercaptoheptane, etc., the sporangiophore of Phycomyces blakesleeanus responds with a transient and reproducible decrease in its elongation rate. All 22 volatile substances tested (except H2O) elicited negative responses. The amplitude of the responses depends on the compound and its concentration. A characteristic concentration, required for 50% inhibition, correlates remarkable well with the human olfactory threshold (coefficient of correlation r = 0.89 (P < 0.001)). Perhaps some process in olfaction is common to this fungus and higher systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-884
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 14 1979

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Mr. R. Sheline, Mr. D. Hampshire, Mrs. M. L. Garner Davis for technical assistance. Supported by NIH grant GM 19390.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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