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J Cell Sci. 1993 Sep;106 ( Pt 1):209-18.

A mutation in the alpha 1-tubulin gene of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii confers resistance to anti-microtubule herbicides.

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  • 1Department of Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108-1095.


A mutation in the alpha 1-tubulin gene of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was isolated by using the amiprophos-methyl-resistant mutation apm1-18 as a background to select new mutants that showed increased resistance to the drug. The upA12 mutation caused twofold resistance to amiprophos-methyl and oryzalin, and twofold hypersensitivity to the microtubule-stabilizing drug taxol, suggesting that the mutation enhanced microtubule stability. The resistance mutation was semi-dominant and mapped to the same interval on linkage group III as the alpha 1-tubulin gene. Two-dimensional gel immunoblots of proteins in the mutant cells revealed two electrophoretically altered alpha-tubulin isoforms, one of which was acetylated and incorporated into microtubules in the axoneme. The mutant isoforms co-segregated with the drug-resistance phenotypes when mutant upA12 was backcrossed to wild-type cells. Two-dimensional gel analysis of in vitro translation products showed that the non-acetylated variant alpha-tubulin was a primary gene product. DNA sequence analysis of the alpha 1-tubulin genes from mutant and wild-type cells revealed a single missense mutation, which predicted a change in codon 24 from tyrosine in wild type to histidine in mutant upA12. This alteration in the predicted amino acid sequence corroborated the approximately +1 basic charge shift observed for the variant alpha-tubulins. The mutant allele of the alpha 1-tubulin gene was designated tua1-1.

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