Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jcellbiolHomeThe Rockefeller University PressEditorsContactInstructions for AuthorsThis issue
J Cell Biol. 1984 March 1; 98(3): 818–824.
PMCID: PMC2113127

Flagellar waveform and rotational orientation in a Chlamydomonas mutant lacking normal striated fibers


The Chlamydomonas mutant vfl-3 lacks normal striated fibers and microtubular rootlets. Although the flagella beat vigorously, the cells rarely display effective forward swimming. High speed cinephotomicrography reveals that flagellar waveform, frequency, and beat synchrony are similar to those of wild-type cells, indicating that neither striated fibers nor microtubular rootlets are required for initiation or synchronization of flagellar motion. However, in contrast to wild type, the effective strokes of the flagella of vfl-3 may occur in virtually any direction. Although the direction of beat varies between cells, it was not observed to vary for a given flagellum during periods of filming lasting up to several thousand beat cycles, indicating that the flagella are not free to rotate in the mature cell. Structural polarity markers in the proximal portion of each flagellum show that the flagella of the mutant have an altered rotational orientation consistent with their altered direction of beat. This implies that the variable direction of beat is not due to a defect in the intrinsic polarity of the axoneme, and that in wild-type cells the striated fibers and/or associated structures are important in establishing or maintaining the correct rotational orientation of the basal bodies to ensure that the inherent functional polarity of the flagellum results in effective cellular movement. As in wild type, the flagella of vfl-3 coordinately switch to a symmetrical, flagellar-type waveform during the shock response (induced by a sudden increase in illumination), indicating that the striated fibers are not directly involved in this process.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (1.0M).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Allen RD. Fine structure, reconstruction and possible functions of components of the cortex of Tetrahymena pyriformis. J Protozool. 1967 Nov;14(4):553–565. [PubMed]
  • Anderson RG. Biochemical and cytochemical evidence for ATPase activity in basal bodies isolated from oviduct. J Cell Biol. 1977 Aug;74(2):547–560. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Brokaw CJ, Luck DJ. Bending patterns of chlamydomonas flagella I. Wild-type bending patterns. Cell Motil. 1983;3(2):131–150. [PubMed]
  • Brokaw CJ, Luck DJ, Huang B. Analysis of the movement of Chlamydomonas flagella:" the function of the radial-spoke system is revealed by comparison of wild-type and mutant flagella. J Cell Biol. 1982 Mar;92(3):722–732. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Brown DL, Massalski A, Patenaude R. Organization of the flagellar apparatus and associate cytoplasmic microtubules in the quadriflagellate alga Polytomella agilis. J Cell Biol. 1976 Apr;69(1):106–125. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Goodenough UW, StClair HS. BALD-2: a mutation affecting the formation of doublet and triplet sets of microtubules in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. J Cell Biol. 1975 Sep;66(3):480–491. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Goodenough UW, Weiss RL. Interrelationships between microtubules, a striated fiber, and the gametic mating structure of Chlamydomonas reinhardi. J Cell Biol. 1978 Feb;76(2):430–438. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hoops HJ, Floyd GL. Ultrastructure and development of the flagellar apparatus and flagellar motion in the colonial graeen alga Astrephomene gubernaculifera. J Cell Sci. 1983 Sep;63:21–41. [PubMed]
  • Hoops HJ, Witman GB. Outer doublet heterogeneity reveals structural polarity related to beat direction in Chlamydomonas flagella. J Cell Biol. 1983 Sep;97(3):902–908. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Huang B, Ramanis Z, Dutcher SK, Luck DJ. Uniflagellar mutants of Chlamydomonas: evidence for the role of basal bodies in transmission of positional information. Cell. 1982 Jul;29(3):745–753. [PubMed]
  • Hyams JS, Borisy GG. Flagellar coordination in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: isolation and reactivation of the flagellar apparatus. Science. 1975 Sep 12;189(4206):891–893. [PubMed]
  • Hyams JS, Borisy GG. Isolated flagellar apparatus of Chlamydomonas: characterization of forward swimming and alteration of waveform and reversal of motion by calcium ions in vitro. J Cell Sci. 1978 Oct;33:235–253. [PubMed]
  • Kleve MG, Clark WH., Jr Association of actin with sperm centrioles: isolation of centriolar complexes and immunofluorescent localization of actin. J Cell Biol. 1980 Jul;86(1):87–95. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Maruyama T. Fine structure of the longitudinal flagellum in Ceratium tripos, a marine dinoflagellate. J Cell Sci. 1982 Dec;58:109–123. [PubMed]
  • Matsusaka T. ATPase activity in the ciliary rootlet of human retinal rods. J Cell Biol. 1967 Apr;33(1):203–208. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Melkonian M. Flagellar roots, mating structure and gametic fusion in the green alga Ulva lactuca (Ulvales). J Cell Sci. 1980 Dec;46:149–169. [PubMed]
  • Melkonian M. The functional analysis of the flagellar apparatus in green algae. Symp Soc Exp Biol. 1982;35:589–606. [PubMed]
  • Racey TJ, Hallett R, Nickel B. A quasi-elastic light scattering and cinematographic investigation of motile Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Biophys J. 1981 Sep;35(3):557–571. [PubMed]
  • Ringo DL. Flagellar motion and fine structure of the flagellar apparatus in Chlamydomonas. J Cell Biol. 1967 Jun;33(3):543–571. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Salisbury JL. Calcium-sequestering vesicles and contractile flagellar roots. J Cell Sci. 1982 Dec;58:433–443. [PubMed]
  • Salisbury JL, Floyd GL. Calcium-induced contraction of the rhizoplast of a quadriflagellate green alga. Science. 1978 Dec 1;202(4371):975–977. [PubMed]
  • Schmidt JA, Eckert R. Calcium couples flagellar reversal to photostimulation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Nature. 1976 Aug 19;262(5570):713–715. [PubMed]
  • Simpson PA, Dingle AD. Variable periodicity in the rhizoplast of Naegleria flagellates. J Cell Biol. 1971 Oct;51(1):323–328. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sledge WE, Larson AD, Hart LT. Costae of Tritrichomonas foetus: purification and chemical composition. Science. 1978 Jan 13;199(4325):186–188. [PubMed]
  • Stephens RE. The basal apparatus. Mass isolation from the molluscan ciliated gill epithelium and a preliminary characterization of striated rootlets. J Cell Biol. 1975 Feb;64(2):408–420. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Summers RG. A new model for the structure of the centriolar satellite complex in spermatozoa. J Morphol. 1972 Jun;137(2):229–241. [PubMed]
  • White RB, Brown DL. ATPase activities associated with the flagellar basal apparatus of Polytomella. J Ultrastruct Res. 1981 May;75(2):151–161. [PubMed]
  • Wright RL, Chojnacki B, Jarvik JW. Abnormal basal-body number, location, and orientation in a striated fiber-defective mutant of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. J Cell Biol. 1983 Jun;96(6):1697–1707. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from The Journal of Cell Biology are provided here courtesy of The Rockefeller University Press