Isolation and characterization of a cell wall-defective mutant of Chlamydomonas monoica (Chlorophyta)

Cesar Fuentes, Karen VanWinkle-Swift

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Cell wall-defective strains of Chlamydomonas have played an important role in the development of transformation protocols for introducing exogenous DNA (foreign genes or cloned Chlamydomonas genes) into C. reinhardtii. To promote the development of similar protocols for transformation of the distantly related homothallic species, C. monoica, we used UV mutagenesis to obtain a mutant strain with a defective cell wall. The mutant, cw-1, was first identified on the basis of irregular colony shape and was subsequently shown to have reduced plating efficiency and increased sensitivity to lysis by a non-ionic detergent as compared with wild-type cells. Tetrad analysis of crosses involving the cw-1 mutant confirmed 2:2 segregation of the cw:cw + phenotypes, indicating that the wall defect resulted from mutation of a single nuclear gene. The phenotype showed incomplete penetrance and variable expressivity. Although some cells had apparently normal cell walls as viewed by TEM, many cells of the cw-1 strain had broken cell walls and others were protoplasts completely devoid of a cell wall. Several cw-1 isolates obtained from crosses involving the original mutant strain showed a marked enhancement of the mutant phenotype and may prove especially useful for future work involving somatic cell fusions or development of transformation protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1261-1267
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Phycology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Cell wall
  • Chlamydomonas monoica
  • Mutant
  • Protoplast
  • Transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science


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