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Trends Plant Sci. 2001 Aug;6(8):364-71.

Functional genomics of plant photosynthesis in the fast lane using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

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Dept of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3102, USA.


Oxygenic photosynthesis by algae and plants supports much of life on Earth. Several model organisms are used to study this vital process, but the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii offers significant advantages for the genetic dissection of photosynthesis. Recent experiments with Chlamydomonas have substantially advanced our understanding of several aspects of photosynthesis, including chloroplast biogenesis, structure-function relationships in photosynthetic complexes, and environmental regulation. Chlamydomonas is therefore the organism of choice for elucidating detailed functions of the hundreds of genes involved in plant photosynthesis.

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