Genetic dissection of the central pair microtubules of the flagella of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

J Cell Biol. 1984 Jan;98(1):229-36. doi: 10.1083/jcb.98.1.229.


Mutations at two loci, which cause an altered mobility of the flagella, affected the central pair microtubule complex of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii flagella. The mutations at both loci primarily affected the C1 microtubule of the complex. Three alleles at the PF16 locus affected the stability of the C1 microtubule in isolated axonemes. This phenotype has allowed us to determine that at least ten polypeptides of the central pair complex are unique to the C1 microtubule. The motility defect was correlated with the failure to assemble three of these ten polypeptides in vivo. The structural gene product of the PF16 locus was a polypeptide with molecular weight 57,000 as shown by analysis of five intragenic revertants and by analysis of axonemes from dikaryon rescue experiments. Three alleles at the PF6 locus affected the assembly of one of the two projections of the C1 microtubule and this projection was formed by at least three polypeptide components, which are a subset of polypeptides missing in isolated pf16 axonemes. No structural gene product has been identified for the PF6 locus. The gene product is probably not one of the identified projection constituents as shown by analysis of dikaryon rescue experiments. Chemical extraction of isolated wild-type axonemes suggests that at least seven polypeptide components are unique to the C2 microtubule.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydomonas / genetics*
  • Chlamydomonas / ultrastructure
  • Flagella / physiology
  • Flagella / ultrastructure*
  • Isoelectric Point
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure
  • Molecular Weight
  • Proteins / genetics


  • Proteins