The dynein gene family in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Mary E Porter, Julie A. Knott, Steven H. Myster, Samuel J. Farlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


To correlate dynein heavy chain (Dhc) genes with flagellar mutations and gain insight into the function of specific dynein isoforms, we placed eight members of the Dhc gene family on the genetic map of Chlamydomonas. Using a PCR-based strategy, we cloned 11 Dhc genes from Chlamydomonas. Comparisons with other Dhc genes indicate that two clones correspond to genes encoding the alpha and beta heavy chains of the outer dynein arm. Alignment of the predicted amino acid sequences spanning the nucleotide binding site indicates that the remaining nine clones can be subdivided into three groups that are likely to include representatives of the inner-arm Dhc isoforms. Gene- specific probes reveal that each clone represents a single-copy gene that is expressed as a transcript of the appropriate size (>13 kb) sufficient to encode a high molecular weight Dhc polypeptide. The expression of all nine genes is upregulated in response to deflagellation, suggesting a role in axoneme assembly or motility. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms between divergent C. reinhardtii strains have been used to place each Dhc gene on the genetic map of Chlamydomonas. These studies lay the groundwork for correlating defects in different Dhc genes with specific flagellar mutations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-585
Number of pages17
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


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