Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a unicellular green alga that has been used as a model organism for the study of flagella and basal bodies as well as photosynthesis. This report analyzes finished genomic DNA sequence for 0.5% of the nuclear genome. We have used three gene prediction programs as well as EST and protein homology data to estimate the total number of genes in Chlamydomonas to be between 12,000 and 16,400. Chlamydomonas appears to have many more genes than any other unicellular organism sequenced to date. Twenty-seven percent of the predicted genes have significant identity to both ESTs and to known proteins in other organisms, 32% of the predicted genes have significant identity to ESTs alone, and 14% have significant similarity to known proteins in other organisms. For gene prediction in Chlamydomonas, GreenGenie appeared to have the highest sensitivity and specificity at the exon level, scoring 71% and 82%. respectively. Two new alternative splicing events were predicted by aligning Chlamydomonas ESTs to the genomic sequence. Finally recombination differs between the two sequenced contigs. The 350-Kb of the Linkage group III contig is devoid of recombination, while the Linkage group I contig is 30 map units long over 33-kb.