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Nucleic Acids Res. May 11, 1990; 18(9): 2625–2631.
PMCID: PMC330745

Light affects the structure of Chlamydomonas chloroplast chromosomes.


We have analyzed changes in the structure of chloroplast chromosomes in response to light in growing Chlamydomonas cells using a crosslinking assay based on the intercalation of HMT (4'-hydroxymethyl-4,5',8-trimethylpsoralen) into DNA. Our results show that the structure of chloroplast chromosomes in at least three widely separated regions is different in light-grown vs. dark-grown cells. Structural changes in chloroplast chromosomes occur within 3 hrs after exposure to light or darkness, respectively. The response to light is not inhibited by atrazine and can be elicited by dim blue light incapable of evolving O2, indicating that it does not require photosynthesis. Inhibition of cytoplasmic protein synthesis with cycloheximide prevents this response to light, indicating that it depends, at least in part, on proteins imported from the cytoplasm.

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Selected References

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