Evidence for role of flagella as sensory transducers in mating of Chlamydomonas reinhardi


FLAGELLA and cilia are motility organelles of many cells. Modified cilia are present in most metazoan sensory cells1, and mechanosensory transduction by cilia is found in many protozoans and some invertebrates2. The question arises as to whether flagella used primarily for motility also have sensory functions. In the unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardi, flagella act as organs of motility. It has been observed, however, that flagellar contact initiates the mating process when gametes of opposite mating types are mixed3–6. We have been studying this phenomenon and report here observations on the role of flagella in initiating the mating reaction.

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SOLTER, K., GIBOR, A. Evidence for role of flagella as sensory transducers in mating of Chlamydomonas reinhardi. Nature 265, 444–445 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1038/265444a0

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