The unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas offers a simple life cycle, easy isolation of mutants, and a growing array of tools and techniques for molecular genetic studies. Among the principal areas of current investigation using this model system are flagellar structure and function, genetics of basal bodies (centrioles), chloroplast biogenesis, photosynthesis, light perception, cell-cell recognition, and cell cycle control. A genome project has begun with compilation of expressed sequence tag data and gene expression studies and will lead to a complete genome sequence. Resources available to the research community include wild-type and mutant strains, plasmid constructs for transformation studies, and a comprehensive on-line database.
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