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Protist. 2000 Oct;151(3):201-24.

Acclimation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to its nutrient environment.


To cope with low nutrient availability in nature, organisms have evolved inducible systems that enable them to scavenge and efficiently utilize the limiting nutrient. Furthermore, organisms must have the capacity to adjust their rate of metabolism and make specific alterations in metabolic pathways that favor survival when the potential for cell growth and division is reduced. In this article I will focus on the acclimation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a unicellular, eukaryotic green alga to conditions of nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus deprivation. This organism has a distinguished history as a model for classical genetic analyses, but it has recently been developed for exploitation using an array of molecular and genomic tools. The application of these tools to the analyses of nutrient limitation responses (and other biological processes) is revealing mechanisms that enable Chlamydomonas to survive harsh environmental conditions and establishing relationships between the responses of this morphologically simple, photosynthetic eukaryote and those of both nonphotosynthetic organisms and vascular plants.

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