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Int Rev Cytol. 2001;206:213-47.

Circadian rhythms in microalgae.

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Botanisches Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit√§t-M√ľnchen, Germany.


Circadian rhythms have been described in a variety of microalgae. In each group, some model organisms arose and most detailed studies have been done with them. They include the cyanobacterium ("blue-green alga") Synechococcus and eukaryotic microalgae Gonyaulax polyedra (Dinophyta), Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Chlorophyta), and Euglena gracilis (Euglenophyta). This review focuses on recent approaches to depict molecular components of the circadian system and the mechanisms of regulation in these organisms. In Synechococcus, the identification of the kailocus, which represents a central part of its oscillatory system, is discussed, as well as diverse approaches based on a luminescent reporter gene, which is driven by a clock-controlled cyanobacterial promoter. In eukaryotic microalgae, the diversity of genes/proteins that are controlled by the circadian clock is described and the kind of regulation (transcriptional and translational control) is emphasized. The role and function of conserved clock-controlled RNA-binding proteins such as CCTR from Gonyaulaxor Chlamy 1 from Chlamydomonas are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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