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J Protozool. 1979 May;26(2):235-40.

Selective inhibition of flagellar activity in Chlamydomonas by nickel.


Flagellar activity in the biflagellate chlorophyte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is selectively inhibited by Ni2+ or by treatment with Ca2+-chelating agents. Inhibitions of swimming speed, geotaxis, phototaxis, and pattern swimming result from qualitative and quantitative losses in the activity of individual flagella and in the coordination of activity between the 2 flagella of each cell. Addition of Ca2+ (a) prevents inhibition and (b) restores normal flagellar activity in inhibited cells. Mg2+ is partially effective in reversal of inhibition. Other ions do not cause similar inhibition or reversal of nickel inhibition. The characteristics of inhibition and reversal suggest that the primary target for nickel is a component of the flagellar apparatus, and that this component uses Ca2+ to perform its normal function in the regulation of flagellar activity. A 2nd target for nickel is a Ca-requiring process specific to phototaxis (and not involved in the photophobic response).

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