The unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, is a biflagellated cell that can swim or glide. C. reinhardtii cells are amenable to genetic, biochemical, proteomic, and microscopic analysis of its basal bodies. The basal bodies contain triplet microtubules and a well-ordered transition zone. Both the mother and daughter basal bodies assemble flagella. Many of the proteins found in other basal body-containing organisms are present in the Chlamydomonas genome, and mutants in these genes affect the assembly of basal bodies. Electron microscopic analysis shows that basal body duplication is site-specific and this may be important for the proper duplication and spatial organization of these organelles. Chlamydomonas is an excellent model for the study of basal bodies as well as the transition zone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Cartwheel
  • Centrin fibers
  • Site-specific basal body duplication
  • Transition zone


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