Logo of jcellbiolHomeThe Rockefeller University PressEditorsContactInstructions for AuthorsThis issue
J Cell Biol. 1995 May 2; 129(4): 1061–1069.
PMCID: PMC2120501

Is the cell division cycle gated by a circadian clock? The case of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii


Circadian oscillators are known to regulate the timing of cell division in many organisms. In the case of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, however, this conclusion has been challenged by several investigators. We have reexamined this issue and find that the division behavior of Chlamydomonas meets all the criteria for circadian rhythmicity: persistence of a cell division rhythm (a) with a period of approximately 24 h under free-running conditions, (b) that is temperature compensated, and (c) which can entrain to light/dark signals. In addition, a mutation that lengthens the circadian period of the phototactic rhythm similarly affects the cell division rhythm. We conclude that a circadian mechanism determines the timing of cell division in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

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.
  • Anderson RW, Laval-Martin DL, Edmunds LN., Jr Cell cycle oscillators. Temperature compensation of the circadian rhythm of cell division in Euglena. Exp Cell Res. 1985 Mar;157(1):144–158. [PubMed]
  • Bruce VG. Mutants of the biological clock in Chlamydomonas reinhardi. Genetics. 1972 Apr;70(4):537–548. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bruce VG. Recombinants between clock mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardi. Genetics. 1974 Jun;77(2):221–230. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Carré IA, Edmunds LN., Jr Oscillator control of cell division in Euglena: cyclic AMP oscillations mediate the phasing of the cell division cycle by the circadian clock. J Cell Sci. 1993 Apr;104(Pt 4):1163–1173. [PubMed]
  • Chiang KS, Sueoka N. Replication of chloroplast DNA in Chlamydomonas reinhardi during vegetative cell cycle: its mode and regulation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1967 May;57(5):1506–1513. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dirick L, Nasmyth K. Positive feedback in the activation of G1 cyclins in yeast. Nature. 1991 Jun 27;351(6329):754–757. [PubMed]
  • Donnan L, John PC. Cell cycle control by timer and sizer in Chlamydomonas. Nature. 1983 Aug 18;304(5927):630–633. [PubMed]
  • Homma K, Hastings JW. Cell growth kinetics, division asymmetry and volume control at division in the marine dinoflagellate Gonyaulax polyedra: a model of circadian clock control of the cell cycle. J Cell Sci. 1989 Feb;92(Pt 2):303–318. [PubMed]
  • Howell SH. The differential synthesis and degradation of ribosomal DNA during the vegetative cell cycle in Chlamydomonas reinhardi. Nat New Biol. 1972 Dec 27;240(104):264–267. [PubMed]
  • John PC. Control of the cell division cycle in Chlamydomonas. Microbiol Sci. 1984 Jul;1(4):96–101. [PubMed]
  • Johnson CH, Kondo T. Light pulses induce "singular" behavior and shorten the period of the circadian phototaxis rhythm in the CW15 strain of Chlamydomonas. J Biol Rhythms. 1992 Winter;7(4):313–327. [PubMed]
  • Johnson CH, Kondo T, Hastings JW. Action Spectrum for Resetting the Circadian Phototaxis Rhythm in the CW15 Strain of Chlamydomonas: II. Illuminated Cells. Plant Physiol. 1991 Nov;97(3):1122–1129. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kondo T, Johnson CH, Hastings JW. Action Spectrum for Resetting the Circadian Phototaxis Rhythm in the CW15 Strain of Chlamydomonas: I. Cells in Darkness. Plant Physiol. 1991 Jan;95(1):197–205. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Nurse P. The Florey Lecture, 1990. How is the cell division cycle regulated? Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1991 Jun 29;332(1264):271–276. [PubMed]
  • Peterson EL. A limit cycle interpretation of a mosquito circadian oscillator. J Theor Biol. 1980 May 21;84(2):281–310. [PubMed]
  • Pines J. Arresting developments in cell-cycle control. Trends Biochem Sci. 1994 Apr;19(4):143–145. [PubMed]
  • PITTENDRIGH CS. Circadian rhythms and the circadian organization of living systems. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 1960;25:159–184. [PubMed]
  • Pittendrigh C, Bruce V, Kaus P. ON THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TRANSIENTS IN DAILY RHYTHMS. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1958 Sep 15;44(9):965–973. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Spudich JL, Sager R. Regulation of the Chlamydomonas cell cycle by light and dark. J Cell Biol. 1980 Apr;85(1):136–145. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Straley SC, Bruce VG. Stickiness to Glass: Circadian Changes in the Cell Surface of Chlamydomonas reinhardi. Plant Physiol. 1979 Jun;63(6):1175–1181. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sweeney BM. Interaction of the Circadian Cycle with the Cell Cycle in Pyrocystis fusiformis. Plant Physiol. 1982 Jul;70(1):272–276. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • SWEENEY BM, HASTINGS JW. Effects of temperature upon diurnal rhythms. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol. 1960;25:87–104. [PubMed]
  • Tyson JJ. Modeling the cell division cycle: cdc2 and cyclin interactions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Aug 15;88(16):7328–7332. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Winfree AT. Integrated view of resetting a circadian clock. J Theor Biol. 1970 Sep;28(3):327–374. [PubMed]

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


Save items

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...