Isolation and in vitro binding of mating type plus fertilization tubules from Chlamydomonas

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During fertilization in Chlamydomonas, adhesion and fusion of gametes occur at the tip of specialized regions of the plasma membrane, known as mating structures (1,2). The mating type minus (mt[-]) structure is a slightly raised dome-shaped region located at the apical end of the cell body. In contrast, the activated mating type plus (mt[+]) structure is an actin-filled, microvil-louslike organelle. Interestingly, a similar type of "fusion organelle" is conserved across diverse groups (3). Chlamydomonas provides an ideal model system for studying the process of gametic cell fusion in that it is amenable to genetic manipulations as well as cell and molecular biological approaches. Moreover, the ease of culturing Chlamydomonas combined with the ability to isolate the mt(+) fertilization tubule and the development of in vitro assays for adhesion makes it an ideal system for biochemical studies focused on dissecting the molecular mechanisms that underlie the complex process of gametic cell fusion (4).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCell Fusion
Subtitle of host publicationOverviews and Methods
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781588299116
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Cell fusion
  • Chlamydomonas
  • Fertilization tubule
  • Flagella
  • Gamete
  • Signal transduction


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